What are the Risks of Being Unvaccinated?

Updated: Feb 8

Unvaccinated risk corona virus conformed in Rochester

With an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 all over the world, there is an urgent need for getting vaccinated. The number of patients with COVID-19 is rising in a rapid manner that is mainly because of the extremely contagious, Delta variant which is at present undergoing continuous surge. Mostly the unvaccinated individuals are at greater risk compared to those who are already vaccinated. They are also equally susceptible to catching an infection.

Few “break-through” cases of COVID-19 have been reported among the population that has been already vaccinated. However, the maximum numbers of cases with hospitalization and admission in Intensive Care Units are among the unvaccinated subjects. Therefore, the bottom line is that the COVID-19 vaccines show effectiveness in the prevention of both infection and mortality.

Thus, a rise in COVID-19 cases within the population of unvaccinated individuals is of concern as this disease is mostly completely unpreventable. If the vaccine availability was sooner, then most of the global population would have achieved herd immunity and there would be a decline in the number of cases infected with the Delta variant. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC on average, approximately 99.5 % of deaths due to COVID-19 are among the unvaccinated individuals.

What Happens If You’re Unvaccinated?

Unvaccinated  happened in Rochester

An unvaccinated individual's immunological system may eventually lead to the production of a strong host response to this virus; however, this process would have taken weeks. Till this time, this virus may result in maximum harm and has resulted in serious illness, chronic bodily damage, and death.

In opposition, when a vaccinated individual is exposed to the COVID-19 virus, the body responds in a different manner such as initiating a memory immunological response and to prime the body's adaptive B lymphocytic cells for quick development of antibodies whenever there is exposure to COVID-19 pathogen. Thus, the body’s T lymphocytic cells may rapidly target as well as destroy the infected tissues.

In case the body’s immunological response is unable to destroy this virus effectively and immediately, a break-through infection can result even in an individual who has been vaccinated when compared to any person who has not been vaccinated. However, a breakthrough infection will not destroy the immune protection that is already in place. Hence, due to this underlying mechanism, subjects who are already vaccinated but can still be infected have the tendency for developing mild symptoms or may show no symptoms and the subsequent recovery rate is faster in such individuals.

Reasons Why Some People Don't Want to be Vaccinated?

Unvaccinated persons reason in Rochester

There is an anti-scientific state of mind that does not allow a person to get vaccinated or follow recommendations given by their doctors. There are a variety of reasons for people not to get vaccinated. These include:

  • Fear about alterations in one’s DNA: This is a myth as the vaccine constituents do not enter the nucleus.

  • There is an ongoing fallacy that COVID-19 vaccination may cause a reduction in fertility or may even cause miscarriage by affecting placental development.

  • There are trust issues and dilemmas related to the development of vaccines as many companies are manufacturing with different brand names. However, the method of development by using mRNA remains reliable as it has been used for developing cancer vaccines.

  • A lot of individuals expect to develop herd immunity without getting vaccinated.

  • Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection tend to think that they are protected naturally. However, it has been thought that immunity achieved by the means of vaccination must last for a longer duration when compared to the naturally acquired immunity.

Experts dealing with infectious diseases have repeatedly emphasized that COVID-19 vaccines have high protection against the severity of disease as well as mortality. They have cautioned that exposure to intentionally induced infection among unvaccinated people can be extremely risky.

Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated: Difference in Immune Response

Difference of vaccinated and unvaccinated in Rochester

Following any immunization, vaccines completely inhibit replication of the virus by induction of “sterilizing type of immunity” by providing protectiveness against the symptomatic or severe disease as well as death. Therefore, a vaccine-mediated decrease in viral load plays an important role in the reduction of severity of disease and in inhibiting person-to-person transmission of this virus. When an unvaccinated person gets exposed to the COVID-19 virus, the body's innate immunological mechanism or innate immunity is responsible for a rapid and non-specific response towards the pathogens. COVID-19 is an invasive organism and can mount a late immune response. The adaptive immune system has been held responsible for an antigen-specific response.

An unvaccinated person's immune system might eventually produce a stronger response to the virus, but that process could take weeks. By then the virus may have caused a lot of harm and resulted in serious illness, long-term damage, or death.

However, in a vaccinated individual exposure to the COVID-19 virus will produce a different response due to a memory-based immunological response on getting exposed to this virus as the adaptive B lymphocytes get primed for the development of antibodies that can effectively target and phagocytose infected tissue. In case, this mechanism fails there will be a breakthrough infection that can produce a mild form of disease or there will be no symptoms and the infected individuals may undergo quick recovery. Getting vaccine shots effectively reduces the risk of disease severity in an individual.

Centric Healthcare’s nurses provide more knowledge about COVID19 safety precautions that must be followed for vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals.

These healthcare professionals act in the best interest of patients. Their role includes educating the patients about informed consent and the risks associated with any vaccine. The nursing staff provides education, screening services and supports the individuals that are in a high-risk category.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html

  2. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/07/22/press-briefing-by-white-house-covid-19-response-team-and-public-health-officials-46/

  3. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/09/02/1033583761/cdc-recommends-that-unvaccinated-people-dont-travel-over-labor-day-weekend

  4. https://www.science.org/content/article/having-sars-cov-2-once-confers-much-greater-immunity-vaccine-vaccination-remains-vital

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