Dr Tom Fletcher

BLOG: Vaccines reduce your risk of ending up in hospital, dying and passing the virus on to others

Dr Tom Fletcher, a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and consultant at Liverpool University Hospitals, explains why it is vital we all get a Covid-19 vaccine when called.

Liverpool and our hospitals have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we hope that as we start to come out of the third wave that things get better – and that we have new tools to tackle this virus. COVID vaccines are undoubtedly one of those tools.

Unfortunately, many in the city know of people who have lost their lives to this terrible disease. Not just elderly frail people but plenty of who had lives to live and were taken from their families too soon.

The toll on all healthcare workers has been immense with a lot of our clinical work focused on the sickest patients, mainly on specialist COVID wards. At times we have had great successes with critically ill patients, but this is overshadowed by the awful conversations we’ve had to have with those who were not going make it.

Managing patients with COVID-19 who are at the end stages of life is equally important, but inherently feels like a failure. That’s why uptake of the vaccine is so important.

We must believe in the need for COVID vaccines and that they are safe and effective. No vaccine is 100% effective but all the current approved COVID vaccines are safe and are aimed at preventing hospital admission and deaths.

There has been a lot of debate about different vaccines, timing of vaccines, new virus variants and the roll out that has been played out in the media. The data is clear – they all reduce your risk of ending up in hospital, dying with this disease and of passing the virus on to others.

Managing patients with COVID-19 who are at the end stages of life is equally important, but inherently feels like a failure. That’s why uptake of the vaccine is so important.

Caution with anything new is understandable, but it’s also clear that any approved Covid vaccine is more effective than not having one at all.

Protect yourself, your granny and those most vulnerable by stepping up and having one.

It’s the only route to getting through this, seeing less deaths and the hoped for return to normality.