“The thing about Covid is that it latches a little bit to both: it’s both like the flu in that it’s spread easily, but it also has an element of ‘it can kill you.’” “Viruses can act in different ways and be a burden on the community in more than one way,” Nace said. “For example, a flu is not a severe virus; it doesn’t kill people as much as Covid does. But what it does do is move around quite easily and spreads from person to person. Then you have viruses like Ebola. It doesn’t spread very easily, but if you get it, it’s pretty severe, and it kills most of the people who get it.” In the U.S. alone, around 580,000 people have died of Covid-19 between January 2020 and May 10, 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization estimates that in a year, 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes worldwide.
We invited Dr. Nace to answer some of the most common questions people in Fairbanks ask about Covid-19 vaccines.
Is Covid-19 a serious problem? How is it different from the flu? To analyze how many more residents will get vaccinated, the Department of Health and Social Services surveyed more than 1,000 Alaskans. Nearly half of responders said they hadn’t gotten vaccinated or booked an appointment; of them, half said they aren’t planning to and around 22% were unsure. Around 65% of the unvaccinated respondents to the DHSS’ survey were open to learning more about vaccines.
What is in the vaccine? Nace said that many Alaskans who think they are healthy enough and won’t get seriously ill from the virus “are probably right. But a lot of people aren’t, and it’s a risk. There are a lot of people who are young and healthy who’ve gotten Covid, and, one, it’s taken their life; two, they accidentally have given it to someone they love; or three, they’ve gotten something like long Covid where it doesn’t just affect them in the moment, in that day or in that week — it goes on for months and months that it affects their ability to think clearly, to breathe comfortably, to do athletic participation.”
Should healthy people get the vaccine?
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