The CIDRAP take on the current understanding of the science and policy surrounding COVID-19.
We need global investment. We need it now.
Living with COVID-19 will require some shifts in approach and new goals. No one knows what the future will hold, but now is the time to improve vaccine acceptance, vaccine technology, therapeutics (drugs), ventilation, surveillance, reporting, testing quality, and testing capacity. We need global investment. We need to focus on equity. These approaches are fundamental to being able to deal with future variants or viruses.
If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated, take it.
If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated, take it now. It is important to be fully vaccinated, which means three doses (Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech) or two doses (Johnson & Johnson) or up to four doses for people with compromised immune systems. Vaccination is also important for public health, since continued transmission leads to more virus evolution and more variants.
Vaccines are safer than the risks of COVID-19.
We’re not learning things about whether you should or shouldn’t take the vaccine—it’s overwhelmingly clear that you should. The risk from natural infection with COVID greatly outweighs any slight risk from COVID-19 vaccines. We are continuing to learn about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines with different variants that emerge and how best to use these vaccines. We are not suddenly going to learn about new safety problems.