Health officials say the COVID-19 vaccine won’t make the virus disappear

Why COVID may never completely go away

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Health Officials with the Jefferson County Health Department say all three approved COVID-19 vaccines are great vaccines.

“It is essentially preventing you from getting sick with COVID,” Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Health Department said. “To a certain percentage, it helps prevent you from contracting COVID,” Hicks said. “And, getting illness in your own body.”

Dr. Hicks said a vaccine’s effectiveness means it’s testing three different things.

“How effective is it at preventing you yourself from getting ill, sick, and symptoms,” Hicks said. “Can it prevent you from going into the hospital and dying. When we talk about vaccines, those vaccines are touching all three points.”

He said the vaccines may have other benefits too.

“We are still looking at the data, potentially prevent you from passing it to another person,” Hicks said.

Dr. Hicks said since the vaccines don’t entirely protect against catching COVID-19, it means vaccines can’t cure the virus completely

“I don’t know, but I suspect that we are always going to have COVID around,” Hicks said.

But, he said just because the virus is still around, doesn’t mean it will always be deadly.

“I think that it is going to be extremely manageable and there may be flare ups from time to time, but we aren’t going to be in a pandemic situation.”

Dr. Hicks said it is important to still get the vaccine to help protect others more vulnerable than you.

Hicks said another benefit of the vaccines is that they help stop variants. He said the more people that are fully vaccinated, it means less opportunity the virus has to multiply and form new variants.

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