Katherine M., journalist
I interviewed Dr. Kris Morshedian, a nephrologist working in intensive care units of hospitals in Phoenix, Ari., about conditions in ICUs as a result of Covid-19 patients not getting vaccinated and about the vaccine itself. I went through a question and answer process throughout the interview, which is summarized below. The first question I asked was, “Why is it important to get vaccinated?”
Dr. Morshedian said,“It’s important to contain the virus, and the only way to do that would be to make sure that you were vaccinated so you can protect yourself and, just as important, that you protect your neighbors.” He also explained the effects of getting vaccinated; the vaccine is a modern vaccine that uses mRNA technology, which means that the strands can be adjusted to help defend against mutations of the virus if the virus does mutate. He added that there can be breakthrough positive coronavirus cases even in vaccinated people, but the symptoms are far too mild to require hospitalization, and most people experience symptoms close to a common cold or no symptoms at all if they contract covid but have the vaccine. On the other hand, those who contract COVID-19 and refuse to get vaccinated can have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization. In fact, he states that “all of the intensive care admissions for patients that are extremely sick, requiring mechanical ventilation, and very likely won’t survive the disease are the ones who are not vaccinated.” Furthermore, the doctor emphasizes the fact that these people, who could have prevented the hospitalization by getting vaccinated, are overcrowding hospitals and not allowing other patients, who have “heart attacks, infections, or are in need of surgical procedures…” to quickly get treated for the life-threatening ailments that they could not prevent. When asked if the claims that the vaccination is unhealthy or against religion were founded, Morshedian said, “The claims that it is unhealthy have zero bases in science, and I don’t know why any religion would want people not to be protected against a disease that is so easily preventable.”
Avoiding the vaccine is not only harmful to the people refusing it, but it is harmful to those in the hospitals that need, but cannot easily find, treatment for conditions that they could not have prevented. Getting the vaccine nearly ensures that one will not contract COVID-19, as, according to the CDC, the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all very effective in preventing the contraction of COVID-19 and its variants, such as Omicron. AS Dr. Morshedian warned that vaccines can prevent severe symptoms if one contracts the virus or any of its variants, but one is making themselves greatly vulnerable if they do not get the vaccine. Get vaccinated, and even better, get the booster so that you are well-protected against COVID-19 and its mutations. Do it for your family, your friends, your neighbors, and most of all, yourself.