Six reasons why you should get the COVID-19 vaccine

UI Health Care will offer all employees the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19. While it will take time to distribute the vaccines to all 16,000-plus employees, getting vaccinated is essential to maintaining our operations and caring for Iowans who need us.  

As an academic medical center, these are the moments we’re made for. Not only are we going to be among the first to start vaccinations in Iowa, but we were also one of the clinical trial sites for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This is an exciting time. 

If you’re not yet convinced or you’re feeling uncertain, here are six simple reasons to consider.

1. Keep yourself safe and healthy

The first COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Iowa was administered at UI Health Care at 9:42 a.m. on Dec. 14 to emergency room nurse David Conway, RN.

Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons is to keep yourself healthy. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine provides you with protection against the virus, keeping you healthy.  

2. The initial vaccines are proving (very) effective

The two leading vaccine candidates, Pfizer and Moderna, have been shown to be about 95% effective, which is very good. The initial goal to be considered for FDA emergency use approval was at least 50% effective. 

3. Clinical trials have validated the safety of the vaccines

The COVID-19 vaccines, like other drugs and biologics released in the U.S., must go through multiple phases of rigorous testing, analysis, and review. In fact, the clinical trials for the COVID-19 enrolled far more participants than other vaccine trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitors the vaccine development process and testing results for efficacy and safety. As part of the FDA’s formal process to determine if the vaccine is approved for public use, it also seeks a recommendation from a multidisciplinary team of experts consisting of independent medical officers, microbiologists, chemists, biostatisticians, and other health experts. The FDA continues to oversee the vaccine and its manufacturing following approval to ensure its ongoing safety. Read more.

4. Be the leaders we know we are

Health care personnel have been prioritized in the first phase of vaccinations in the United States. By leading the way of being the first vaccinated, we lead the next phase of recovery for our community. Health care workers have the unique opportunity to demonstrate to the public the important of immediate vaccination. 

5. Be here for our patients

Most importantly, it allows us to continue to be there for each other and our patients.  

6. Return to life as normal (or at least more social)

A vaccine is the best and only way to return to life as “normal,” or closer to what it was before COVID-19. While it will take some time to roll out vaccines to all of UI Heath Care, all Iowans, and globally, every individual vaccinated is a step in the right direction. And we all need to continue to follow our safety precautions for a long time to come. 

For more information, visit the COVID-19 vaccine hub on The Loop.

Read some of the reasons our UI Health Care leaders are looking forward to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine below.

I’m excited to receive the vaccine to set a good example for all Iowans of the power of medical advances. I also think that it’s strongest way to show my support for all UIHC employees. Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA Chief Executive Officer and Associate Vice President

As a hospitalist, I've seen the severe illness and death caused by COVID-19 first-hand. For that reason, I chose to volunteer as a subject in the University of Iowa/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial to help expedite our search for an effective vaccine. Now, I am encouraging my medical colleagues, family, and friends to get an approved COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are prioritized to do so. Brad Manning, MD