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Stock photo: Vaccines

Data and research continue to offer indisputable evidence that vaccines are effective and safe. A recent study in South Africa of more than 1 million people found that the unvaccinated are five times more likely to get infected with Covid-19 and 20 times more likely to die from complications of the disease. In fact, the vaccines reduce the risk of mortality from the virus to less than that of influenza.

In terms of safety, the same study recorded zero vaccine-related deaths and extremely low chances of side effects—almost all of which resolved quickly without treatment. More important, the study found that these same side effects are up to 112 percent more likely as the result of a Covid-19 infection.

The data is also clear that Covid-19 remains a real threat, with emerging strains such as the omicron variant. The concern is not only for those that contract and survive the virus, but for the people who were previously infected and are now experiencing “long Covid.” With continuing symptoms and damage to the lungs, heart, and brain, long Covid-19 is considered by many to be the next public health crisis in the making.

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