April 27, 2021

The numbers are clear: Avoiding vaccination leaves you at risk of getting COVID-19

An older adult getting a vaccine from a medical provider

Madison, Wis. – Some may still be hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but there is a critical mass of evidence that shows being vaccinated is far better than the alternative.

The data is easy to see, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other research studies.

With no COVID-19 vaccination:

  • 1 in 10: Number of people infected with COVID-19

  • 70 to 85%: Chance of developing symptoms of COVID-19, if infected, according to South Korean and Canadian studies.

  • 9.5% of those infected becoming hospitalized

  • 1 in 56: The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States ending in death

  • 1 in 575: The number of all people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19

Full COVID-19 vaccination:

  • 1 in 10,000: Number of people infected with COVID-19

  • 1 in 175,000: Those who have been hospitalized

  • 1 in 1 million: Those who have died from COVID-19

One thing is certain, all three approved COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing hospitalization and death, according to Dr. , senior medical director, primary care, UW Health.

Data from real world studies show that after completing a full dosing regimen, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which UW Health currently administers, is more than 90% effective at keeping people out of the hospital with COVID-19.

“There is simply no question that getting a COVID-19 vaccine will greatly reduce the risk of getting COVID-19, and will negate the intensity of COVID-19 symptoms,” he said. “The choice is clear.”

While vaccine side effects do occur, serious ones are very rare. In clinical trials, the rate was no greater than those who received the placebo (saline solution instead of the vaccine) and a recent JAMA study concluded that severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are very rare.

“No matter what vaccine you have access to, it’s better than the alternative — catching COVID-19,” Anderson said. “These vaccines are our most effective way to protect our families and friends, and the most powerful tool we have for beating this pandemic.”