On Tuesday May 4, I got my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. I am over-the-moon excited to be one step closer to travel, to socializing, to dating, to normalcy. (Maybe I’ll even get to show my face in public again someday?!) And while I did suffer the second-dose sickness you may have heard about—24 hours of feverish, mild flu-like symptoms—I found every sweaty second to be well worth it. I’m doing my part, I’m protecting myself, and I’m getting ready for a summer of socializing. Yee-haw!
Since I’ve been vaccinated and am now an expert, I’ve compiled my list of the Top 6 reasons to get vaccinated. Some you may not have thought of! Read on for more.
Top Reasons to get Vaxxed
(That you may not have thought of!)
1. The Second Dose Detox
It’s almost bikini season. What better way to kick off your beginning-of-season fitness routine than with a second dose detox?! I went with the Moderna diet, which consisted of drinking lots of water and eating only one single banana in a 24 hour span. By the time I woke out of my sweat-soaked vaccine fever, I was feeling slim and trim. We’re at the 40-hours later mark while writing this and my body is STILL sweating it out. Eat your heart out Richard Simmons. The best part about the Dose 2 Detox? No workouts required! You can literally stay in bed ALL day long and still be slimmer. Truly the stuff of as-seen-on-TV dreams, and a real underdog of reasons to get vaccinated.
2. Being part of an exclusive club
Anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists think of themselves as discerning, independent thinkers willing to go against the grain and do what they think is right. With the number of vaccinated people in the US being somewhere around 40%, though, I think it is clear who the real independent thinkers are. Science believers!
With 60% of the U.S. population unvaxxed, it is just really hard to maintain this whole “against the grain” façade. And don’t we all like being different? Hop on over to our side—the exclusive vaccinated population—and enjoy the view from the top (of the health food chain.) It won’t cost you much. And if your anti-vaxx/conspiracy theory friends are going to be disappointed, just lie to them.
This is a great reason to get vaccinated for those of you who like to stand out from the crowd!
On a more serious note: Access to the vaccine is not equal in all parts of the country and there are major disparities across racial and socioeconomic lines. If you are pRiViLeGeD enough to be able to get the vaccine without much trouble, then why not protect yourself and society as a whole?
3. Getting a ‘Do what you want’ sick day
Counterintuitive, I know, but coming in at #3 on our reasons to get vaccinated is the post-second dose sick day.
Sure, getting sick sucks. But there are some perks that come with a sick day. No cooking, no cleaning, no annoying productivity goals to fail at meeting.
Many people, myself included, have felt under the weather for a day or two after receiving their second vaccine dose. But the minor inconvenience of a fake flu day doesn’t have to ruin your week. For one thing, knowing why you feel crappy—and that there is an end in sight—makes the discomfort easier to swallow. And then there is the get-away-with-anything freedom that comes along with having a sick day.
An entire day spent in bed? Luxurious! And if it prevents you from getting real sick (à la COVID-19), then it is a small price to pay. Sleep the entire day away, listen to an audio book, eat ice cream for dinner, binge-watch that series on Netflix. A post-vax sick day is the perfect excuse to skip your workout, slack off on your email correspondence, let the dishes do themselves, and not answer your phone. And this selfish, sluggish, sleep-centered day is all in the name of the greater good. You are saving lives. One cat nap at a time.
Perks of a 2nd-dose Sick Day: Ice cream for dinner. In bed.
4. Being able to travel
Don’t we miss travel?!
If a European vacation is on your to-do list, then you’d better get that shot. The European Commission made headlines recently when it announced plans to allow vaccinated Americans to bypass the current travel ban into Europe. Americans have been barred from entering Europe since March of 2020. I don’t know about you, but a fresh baguette from the boulangerie might just be enough reason for me to take the shot.
Most countries already allowing visitors are not currently requiring proof of vaccination, but there are some major perks to being fully vaxxed when traveling. Skipping quarantine periods and COVID testing, for one thing. Each country has a different set of requirements, some including up to ten days of quarantine before enjoying the sights. That can put a real dent in your travel budget—and fun!
Vaccinated visitors to the British Virgin Islands can skip the quarantine period of four days upon arrival. Cyprus will waive COVID testing requirements and quarantine mandates for those visitors who can prove they’ve been vaccinated. Estonia requires a TEN-day quarantine for non-vaccinated travelers, but will waive this completely for those travelers who can show proof of vaccination. Entry to Iceland requires a COVID test taken at the border, five days of quarantine, with a second COVID test following the 5-day span. But travelers entering Iceland with proof of vaccination may skip both the quarantine period and second test requirement.
Those are just a few examples of just how much it pays to be vaccinated if you’re going to be traveling. For me, the ability to move freely in the world is one of my biggest reasons for getting vaccinated. And it is very likely that restrictions will grow more stringent as the vaccine becomes more widely available to everyone.
For more info on country-to-country travel restrictions and the perks of being vaccinated, check out this list from AFAR, which is regularly updated.
5. Keeping yourself and those around you healthy
The best and most obvious reason to get the vaccine is that it prevents you from getting COVID-19 and passing it along to others. The more of us that get vaccinated, the safer everyone is. Even if you think you could “beat it” should you get COVID, you passing it on to someone else could mean death or serious illness for them. It could mean more strain on the healthcare system. Each of us that can get vaccinated but chooses not to are putting others at risk. The immunocompromised—folx who do not have the option of being vaccinated, kids, who are not yet able to get a vaccine, people who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine.
The golden goose of “Herd immunity” may be a far-off fantasy by now, but the more of us that are protected against COVID, the less likely the chance of a major outbreak. Remember when there were morgue trucks parked outside hospitals in the streets of New York City? We don’t want that again. Can we agree we don’t want that again!?
Just take a look at the COVID crisis ravaging India right now to see an example of where we don’t want to be. Keep in mind that diseases don’t languish within borders, that a global pandemic makes one country’s problem a problem for the world at large. Those of us in the U.S. have great privilege to live in one of the countries with the best access to life-saving vaccines. Let’s not squander that.
6. For a trip down memory lane…to normalcy
For those of you who aren’t concerned about health, maybe you care about some other things the pandemic has affected. Maybe you’d like to go to a packed sports arena to cheer on your favorite team. Maybe you’d like to throw a big ass party for your dad’s retirement or your mom’s birthday or your wedding nuptials. Maybe you’d like to date without worry of what the other person has been doing. Maybe you want to dance in a bar with a stranger with no mask. Maybe you would like to show your face in public—like your ENTIRE face. (I know you paid a pretty penny for those pearly whites.)
If nothing else, getting back to “normalcy” more quickly is a stellar reason to get vaccinated. And while my anti-social self is A-ok with not seeing anyone in person ever again, it would be nice to at least have the option. You know what they say: If you hate the mask, get a vax.
A post-vax selfie is not one of the top reasons to get vaccinated.
And there you have it people, six good reasons to get vaccinated. If you’ve been hesitant I hope you will consider some of these perks of getting vaxxed—along with the long history of successful vaccine use for all kinds of other gnarly diseases we have successfully eliminated. Smallpox is dead, thank you vaccines. Yellow fever cases dropped to zero in 1996, but what do you know? Vaccine rates fell, and the disease reemerged with an outbreak in 2017. The days of paralysis and iron lungs due to Polio infection are over, thanks to the vaccine effort. Remember in 2019 when the U.S. had the largest outbreak of Measles in 30 years because parents stopped vaccinating their children? This after the disease was essentially eliminated from the U.S. in 2000. Rubella, Mumps, Cholera, Diphtheria, Tetanus—all serious diseases, all rarely spoken about BECAUSE of the success of immunization efforts. Life is hard. Do we really need to make it harder by encouraging infectious diseases to flourish?
The successes of past vaccines in eradicating or diminishing serious diseases is one of the best reasons to get vaccinated that I can think of. The fact that so many previously deadly infectious diseases are out of sight and mind now shows the power of modern medicine, science, and trust in immunization processes.
For more information on vaccinations & the diseases they prevent, check out this great resource from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: A Look at Each Vaccine.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, I encourage you to seek as much information as possible to quell your worries. This means reputable sources, not Reddit or Facebook. Ultimately, we are all going to make the choice we think is best for us. I just hope that more of us make the choice that is best for all.
Until next time, I’ll be sweating it out and riding high in my post-vax glory. I hope all of you have a safe, healthy, and happy weekend.