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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Why you should get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect others

“We’ve got to protect those people who can’t get a good response to the vaccine,” said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Hospital.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The percentage for herd immunity against COVID-19 continues to change.

It is important everyone does their part to keep safe in this pandemic. 

Local 24 News Reporter Brittani Moncrease spoke with doctors who are stressing the importance of being vaccinated to help others.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." 

Those are the words of President John F. Kennedy. It was a charge for public good. 

Today, that is a charge from many who are high risk for COVID-19.

We are in this pandemic for the long-haul. 

“It’s going to be around. We’re not going to get to herd immunity any time soon,” said Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, Baptist Memorial Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist.  

That is why doctors such as Dr. Threlkeld urge you to get vaccinated.

“We’ve got to protect those people who can’t get a good response to the vaccine,” said Dr. Threlkeld. 

Take patients at St. Jude for example. Their Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Diego Hijano, said some are not able to get the vaccine at all. 

“You also have a group of people that may get the vaccine but may not respond appropriately because they have an immune condition or they are taking medicines that may impair that response to the vaccine,” said Dr. Hijano. 

The responsibility lies on those around them. 

“We know for sure that having that cocoon of protection in the household by vaccinating everyone around the patient protects them,” said Dr. Hijano. “It’s always very hard when you go through these processes even before COVID-19 because our patients are susceptible to any infections.” 

The vaccine concerns within these families are just like any other. 

“They obviously have really good questions and really good concerns, but they just take that extra step and conquer their fears,” said Dr. Hijano. 

However, Dr. Hijano said the benefits outweigh the risks. 

“As parents who have kids that cannot get vaccinated, we all should have that extra incentive that we need to conquer our fears and understand that the vaccine is effective - and go and do it for us, our kids, our families, and for our communities,” said Dr. Hijano.