Solutions: ‘I feel a responsibility’

WHY I’M VACCINATED

Today, we continue our series on the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Over the next several weeks, you’ll hear from your neighbors, faith leaders and those in the business community, among others. They’ll share their personal stories – all of them with a simple and heartfelt message: Get vaccinated. Save lives.

When I received the COVID-19 vaccine this winter, I had to drive from the northern suburbs of Atlanta to Athens to get the shot, due to the scarcity of available vaccines at the time.

Caption
Sathvik Namburar

Credit: contributed

Sathvik Namburar
Caption
Sathvik Namburar

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

Still, I prioritized the COVID-19 vaccination, as I was convinced that it would protect me and my family members from the disease.

And as a fourth-year medical student, I knew that the vaccine would protect my patients.

I interact with dozens of people daily, many of whom are chronically or acutely ill. I feel a responsibility to these people and have sought to try to decrease the risk of me transmitting COVID-19 to them by receiving the vaccine and continuing to wear a mask.

I have seen firsthand in the hospital that the virus is no hoax and remains a major threat to those who are unvaccinated.

I recently completed a rotation in the intensive care unit at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, where I helped take care of patients with COVID-19. These patients’ family members were not able to visit them because of the contagious nature of COVID, and I could hear anguish in the family members’ voices when I would call to update them on the status of their loved one.

Often, family members would express regret for not being able to convince their loved one to become vaccinated. Even more sadly, I have seen patients pass away with their family members unable to visit them.

The unvaccinated patients with whom I speak often express concerns about potential complications from the vaccine. I remind these patients that while I saw numerous unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 in the ICU, I have not personally come across a single patient who had to be hospitalized due to the COVID vaccine.

The vaccine has repeatedly been demonstrated to be safe and effective.

Above all, more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine will enable us to return to life as it was prior to 2020. Hospitals can return to normal operations instead of persisting in crisis mode; businesses can once again maximize their sales; and each of us can resume our daily lives with decreased worry for our health and safety.

For the well-being of us all, I implore all Atlantans, Georgians and Americans to receive the vaccine.

Sathvik Namburar is a community contributor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was born and raised in the Atlanta area and is a fourth-year medical student at Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H. He is pursuing a career in internal medicine and cardiology.

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