MADISON, Wis. (WXOW)- As COVID-19 regulations ease for those that have received the vaccine, there are still many in the community that either have not or cannot be vaccinated.
Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director at UW Health, acknowledges the fact that although the COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to work well, it is important to remember that there are still many who have not received them.
Among these unvaccinated individuals are children 11-years-old and younger, people with underlying medical conditions, those who have chosen not to get a vaccine for personal reasons, as well as people who have compromised immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatments.
Dr. Anderson stated these unprotected community members can stay safe by continuing to follow the public health measures that have protected them throughout the pandemic. This includes wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large crowds or gatherings, and quarantining if individuals are ill.
According to Dr. Anderson, the very best way the public can protect themselves from COVID-19 is to get their vaccine if they are able to.
"COVID-19 vaccines are free and accessible at many locations, and all three authorized in the United States have been proven safe and effective with real world data," said Dr. Anderson. "If you want to resume more normal activities and protect those still vulnerable in this pandemic, please get vaccinated."
Community members that have received their vaccines can also do their part to help protect those around them that are unvaccinated. Dr. Anderson suggested vaccinated individuals can set a good example for others by continuing to wear a mask, even though they no longer have to.
Additionally, Dr. Anderson stated he believes households can establish guidelines they would like to follow by weighing out the risks of each situation.
"It really comes down to understanding what the risks are, understanding who is around me, what risks and conditions does my family have, and talking about it as a family," said Dr. Anderson.