Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

16 Reasons Why You Should Get Vaccinated

| Sep. 24, 2021

"Line art of person and vaccine needle."We’re at a crucial period in the global fight against COVID-19. Around the world, cases of the coronavirus continue to remain stubbornly high, averaging nearly 600,000 cases a day. In the United States, cases are at an all-time high since last winter, averaging over 140,000 new cases with nearly 2,000 new deaths being reported each day. These numbers coupled with current hospitalization rates in many parts of the country are high enough to strain health care systems.

We have three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to help to curb transmission levels and protect people from the worst outcomes of this devastating disease. Yet millions of Americans remain unvaccinated by choice.  The best protection from the virus that causes COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

Here are 16 reasons why you should get vaccinated:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination is the safest way to help the immune system build protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.

  2. Your risk of covid-19 infection is reduced by 5 times by being fully vaccinated.

  3. Your risk of experiencing severe COVID-19, requiring hospitalization is reduced by 10 times by being fully vaccinated.

  4. Your risk of death from COVID-19 is reduced by 10 times by being fully vaccinated.

  5. If you’ve had previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, full vaccination provides additional protection against reinfection. 

  6. Fully vaccinated people with a vaccine breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness and symptoms tend to be less severe than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19.

  7. Fully vaccinated people clear the virus faster from their body compared to the unvaccinated if they experience vaccine breakthrough infection as an army of antibodies are already there to fight off the virus

  8. Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from the delta variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period than compared to those unvaccinated.

  9. Your risk of spreading COVID-19 to friends, family, loved ones and those around you is reduced.

  10. Your risk of experiencing long COVID (also known as long-haul COVID-19) from vaccine breakthrough infection is reduced by nearly half.

  11. If you are pregnant, COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy reduces the risk of infection and hospitalization. Antibodies made after a pregnant person is vaccinated may also help protect newborns against COVID-19

  12. All activities become safer when you’re vaccinated.

  13. You help prevent straining hospitals by not requiring supplemental oxygen or ICU level care for COVID-19.

  14. By being fully vaccinated, you help protect the most vulnerable like those immunocompromised as well as persons at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and even kids who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.

  15. Vaccination helps with community immunity, or herd immunity, which will reduce the spread of the virus and prevent further variants from emerging.

  16. You help end the pandemic sooner for all of us. 


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Madad, Syra and Carlos del Rio.“16 Reasons Why You Should Get Vaccinated.” Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, September 24, 2021.

The Authors