Column: Why I Will Be Getting Covid-19 Vaccine

January 8, 2021 | 8 Comments

Dr Michael Ashton Bermuda Jan 2021[Column written by Dr Michael Ashton]

One of the ICU nurses approached me again as I was coming out of a patient room and asked when the vaccine for COVID-19 will become available in Bermuda.

As before, we both keenly agreed that we will gratefully receive it when it finally arrives. We have only to look across the ICU to see the devastating potential of COVID-19 as a disease.

As an Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine specialist practicing in Bermuda for the last 10 years, I am regularly reminded how patients can succumb to disease.

Even initial appearances of health and stability can sometimes betray the fragile balance in which we all exist. The COVID-19 pandemic rages on around the world, now with increasing efficiency, and we are far from herd immunity.

Without an effective vaccine, there would be no end to the pandemic in sight; and our most vulnerable friends and family would have no hope of a normal life.

And yet after much determination and rigorous testing, there are now several approved vaccines [including mRNA vaccines] with extensive data published from multiple peer-reviewed and credible sources to establish safety and effectiveness. Remarkably, and unlike many other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness has been observed in most all populations – irrespective of age, race or health status.

Bermuda has struggled and made great sacrifices. We have only have to look to our neighbors to recognize the great risks that we have faced. The COVID-19 vaccines now represent a safe and responsible path back to normality.

To start, there will be a limited supply of vaccine, so it makes sense for the vaccine to be first available to front-line and vulnerable people. No-one will ever be forced to take this vaccine, but having seen the consequences of this disease and having followed the vaccine development, I wholeheartedly encourage those eligible to receive the vaccine when it becomes available.

Ultimately, whether you take the vaccine is a personal decision – but with implications for those around you. As you weigh the risks and benefits, ensure that your sources of information are reliable, credible, and preferably from peer-reviewed publications.

Consider each contingency and have a plan. For the vast majority of people, the vaccine benefits far outweigh the risks. But if you choose not to take the vaccine, are you prepared to continue to be at risk for contracting COVID-19? What will you do instead to protect yourself and those around you? And if you were to get sick, who will take care of you?

- Bermuda Hospitals Board’s Chief of Medicine & Infectious Diseases Specialist, Dr Michael Ashton

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Comments (8)

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  1. Common Sense says:

    In my opinion, within a couple of years everyone will have had either the disease or the vaccine. Take your pick.

  2. UpRyZaH says:

    FYI, a vaccine is not a cure and will not stop any contraction.
    You of all people should know this.
    Stop misleading.

  3. The Pfizer vaccine is not guaranteed, there are far to many researchers that have already said, that taking the vaccine will not protect you from getting covid19,or still being able to give it to others, the vaccines will not stop us from wearing the mask and social distancing, There’s so much information out there that gives you the pro’s and con’s, People need to do their research, and those that want to take the vaccine, need to respect the decisions of those that don’t and those that refuse to take it, respect those who decide to take it.

  4. 2020 Won says:

    Hmmm … it’s such a difficult decision.
    On the one hand we have numerous doctors with degrees from prestigious universities and years of experience, along with hundreds of scientists with advanced degrees in chemistry, biology and statistical analysis who have been working either directly on the vaccines or reviewing the trial results.

    On the other hand we have people who have spent hours researching YouTube, Facebook and Twitter who have managed to uncover this immense worldwide conspiracy to track us and change our DNA. They have uncovered a massive hidden trove of strange adverse reactions to the vaccines. They might have difficulty with spelling and putting together a coherent sentence but we should apparently listen to what they say – as long as we are not near a 5g antenna.

    • Stormin says:

      Exactly…….who cares about the truth anyway?

      The actual facts….. backed by scholars and professional healthcare practitioners…. what do they know?

      The future belongs to those who can shout loudest and better still are offended
      by these know-alls.

      Health care practitioners, professors keep your opinions to yourselves .

  5. To dr Ashton
    I have always respected you and admired you as a person
    But as for this I truly disagree with how you are being used to persuade people to take this vaccine like many of us feel in bda that many people in positions like you and government leaders will probably have a different type of vaccine administrated from the rest as you are very valuable to our health system here in bda and have done great work in the past although this assumption may have no grounds at all. many here feel that there are many complications if not right away down the road can surface as with many vaccines in the past. In today’s world all the factual information is at your finger tips. As in your statement are we prepared to take the risk by not taking it I ask are we prepared to take the risk by taking it . As stated by another individual we all need to respect every one’s decision on taking or not taking it. It’s being projected thru media that if we want to return to normalcy in this world then the vaccine is the way back, such a sad way to think, this world is ever changing and thru this it will never return the way it was, many of us have changed our lives due to this our way of thinking, eating, exercise etc
    Thus building a strong immune system and so on and some of us have suffered thru lost of love ones not just from COVID but other illnesses that have been around longer then COVID and will continue to be and many as you know doc have had these illnesses and thru these illnesses COVID was able to enter the body causing discomfort some getting better some unable to fight it. Again it’s ones personal decision

  6. BS says:

    Vaccine is not a cure – such BS and from a so called expert! Stop misleading people as that is dangerous! This virus will be with us forever until a cure is developed! Just like the flu there is no cure!

  7. Common Sense says:

    Do any of you anti vaccine crusaders ever wonder why there have been no cases of smallpox in the world for the last 40 years or so?

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