On April 30 I let a man stab me in the arm. Four weeks later I did the same. I got my second Moderna vaccination this week. It was a momentary pinch in my arm and I was a little bit under-the-weather for part of a day. For me, it was not a big inconvenience. My wife ended up feeling a little sicker than me for a day. It affects everyone differently, but one thing is certain: a moment of discomfort, even a day of slight illness is better than joining the ranks of the millions dead worldwide.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about vaccinations and COVID-19. There are ideas that a vaccination is ineffective if you take it and can still get sick. Our bodies are not machines. Everyone reacts differently to any vaccine. Some people still get sick even with a vaccine but far less sick than they would have. A few people may even die, but far fewer than would have. Some people will get sick from COVID-19 and it will be mild for others it will be severe. Nothing can stop that, entirely, but vaccines make us fight against it more than we would have. It makes us stronger.

I hope that people will stop using stray examples of breakthrough infections as reasons for not getting a vaccine that can make them stronger against a terrible virus, but, more importantly, if everyone will get vaccinated we could reach immunity as a society. In other words, we take the vaccine not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and friends.

Vaccination has the potential to effectively bring an end to this pandemic, but we will need to come together with a common purpose of taking care of ourselves and others.