COVID-19 Information

It’s been almost a year since OMSI first closed its doors to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Science is leading the way in 2021 as vaccines become available and we begin to resume in-person activities.

Interested in getting science-based information about vaccines? Follow us on social to learn more about how vaccines work and how they save lives.

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Let’s Have an Honest Conversation about Vaccines

There’s a lot of information out there, and you’re smart to ask questions. It can be hard to sort through how you feel or what you should do. We get that. We also understand that hesitancy around something new is common.

We are here for you and want to help you understand the science behind vaccines. Science is all about asking questions and discovering more information. We may not have every answer, but as a science museum and trusted community organization, we want to share what we do know and help you make an informed decision.

We’re sharing a series of posts over the next few weeks on Facebook and Instagram about what vaccines are, what they do, and how they are starting to impact the COVID-19 pandemic and our community.

Follow us on social to see what questions we'll be answering!

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How many lives have been saved by vaccines?
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Did you know vaccines have saved millions of lives?

Before vaccinations were widely available, people—and especially children—were vulnerable to prevalent diseases like polio, measles, diphtheria, and mumps. These may sound like uncommon diseases now because, after widespread vaccination efforts, they are.

More than 2 million people have died of COVID-19 worldwide, but approved COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be nearly 100% effective at preventing death from the virus. These vaccines have the power to prevent millions of cases and deaths across the globe—and could help make COVID-19 an uncommon disease, too.

Sources: 

CDC: Why Are Childhood Vaccines So Important?

Do vaccines completely eliminate diseases?
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Vaccines have completely eliminated some diseases.

Historical accounts from China and India, some as early as 200 BCE, describe purposeful exposure to diseases to prevent future illness. However, the first modern vaccine was developed in 1796 to provide immunity against smallpox. 

The smallpox vaccine was born from a rumor that prior exposure to a different disease called cowpox meant you were likely safe from becoming sick with smallpox. Dr. Edward Jenner tested the idea and introduced one person to material from a cowpox sore—and two months later, after being exposed to smallpox, they did not get sick! Scientists know now that cowpox and smallpox both come from the Orthopox virus family.

After mass vaccination across the globe, The World Health Assembly declared that smallpox was eradicated in 1980. Since then, there have been zero naturally occurring cases of smallpox in the world.

Sources:

College Physicians of Philadelphia: History of Vaccines - A Vaccine History Project of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

There's More to Come! Follow Us on Social Media

Join us for a series of posts over the next few weeks about what vaccines are, what they do, and how they are starting to impact the COVID-19 pandemic and our community. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Vaccine Science

Looking for more in-depth, scientific explanations about how vaccines work with our immune systems? 

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Additional Resources for COVID-19 and Vaccine Information

OMSI encourages you to learn more and ensure you have scientifically-accurate information. We trust the following sources, which offer reliable, relevant and comprehensive information about COVID-19 and vaccines: 

Recursos Adicionales