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Millions are rejecting one of humanity’s best weapons for saving lives: Vaccines

Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history. Phynart Studio/E+ from Getty Images

Millions are rejecting one of humanity’s best weapons for saving lives: Vaccines

Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history. Phynart Studio/E+ from Getty Images

Millions are rejecting one of humanity’s best weapons for saving lives: Vaccines

Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history. Phynart Studio/E+ from Getty Images

Millions are rejecting one of humanity’s best weapons for saving lives: Vaccines

Vaccination has saved millions of lives throughout the course of history. Phynart Studio/E+ from Getty Images

Vaccines show the immune system what the virus looks like so our bodies can manufacture specific antibodies to that virus. These antibodies then bind to and inactivate or destroy invading viruses.

S. Jay Olshansky, University of Illinois at Chicago; Leonard Hayflick, University of California, San Francisco, and Ronald Hershow, University of Illinois at Chicago

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by employees at a Houston hospital who did not want to be vaccinated for COVID-19, claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe. In the June 12, 2021 ruling, U.S. district Judge Lynn Hughes rejected the lead plaintiff’s claim that the vaccines are experimental and dangerous.

This case is indicative of how many people believe that the COVID-19 vaccine could either kill or harm them in some way. But as scientists in public health, infectious diseases and vaccine development, we know that these claims are not just false – they are lethal. In the U.S. today, the vast majority of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 occur among the unvaccinated.

Over the course of history, vaccines have allowed humanity to successfully combat viral diseases – some to the point of eradication. Here, we break down the role that vaccination plays in the fight against infectious disease, illustrate how the benefits far outweigh the risks and explain why everyone should be eager to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Person about to get vaccinated by healthcare provider looks out a window.

Vaccination is effective only if we all play our part. andreswd/E+ at Getty Images

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