To combat vaccine hesitancy, the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State created the “Have You Herd?” campaign. The herd immunity-themed social media effort is designed to encourage everyone to get a COVID vaccine by getting them to understand the necessity for herd immunity. The campaign aims to educate our communities about what herd immunity is, what it means for our communities and hospitals, and how we can work together to achieve this common goal through vaccination.
What is herd immunity?
COVID-19 is all over the mainstream media, and audiences are being exposed to new medical jargon every day. Now that we have safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, one of the most commonly mentioned phrases seems to be “herd immunity." But what is herd immunity? Within the context of COVID-19, how would herd immunity affect our communities and our hospitals, and what can we do to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible?
Herd immunity is reached when a significant percentage of the population – about 80 percent – has received a vaccine and/or has become immune to a specific infectious disease because of exposure. This widespread immunity means susceptible individuals are much less likely to come into contact with an infected person.
How is Long Island measuring up?
The NYSDOH Vaccine Tracker currently indicates that across Nassau and Suffolk Counties combined, 1,033,030 people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 630,355 people have received a completed vaccine series. Counting those immune due to exposure— there have been 355,000 cases of COVID across both counties to date— that leaves approximately 781,615, or 28% of Long Islanders vulnerable to the virus. Although this data indicates that Long Island is on the way to achieving herd immunity, this achievement will certainly be impacted by how many of that vulnerable 28 % choose to receive the vaccine.
Raise a sleeve!
The greater the number of vaccinated, the sooner we can return to our normal lives and the sooner our local economies can recover. We need every eligible person to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated.
Once vaccinated, you will have one less health concern for yourself and your family members. Vaccines are safe, and our strongest weapon in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Most importantly, all vaccines protect against serious illness and death. Each vaccine has gone through rigorous scientific testing.
Herd Immunity = Safe Communities
While the individual decision to get vaccinated might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of herd immunity, the impact of your individual choice is significant and widespread. Get vaccinated and be part of the movement to end COVID-19.
Continue to check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website to stay up to date on eligibility guidelines and vaccine news. While supply continues to catch up with demand, go ahead and make an appointment now. Here are vaccine appointment resources:
To learn more about the “Have You Herd?” campaign or download their resources visit the SHANYS website.