One of the foremost methods to promote public health and wellness are vaccines, which historically have been proven to be safe and effective. Vaccines work with our body’s natural defenses to help build immunity to disease. They reduce the chance of acquiring and spreading disease. Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect personal health and community health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016).
The latest approved vaccines are designed to combat COVID-19. These vaccines have been shown to be highly effective (CDC, 2021). Getting as many people vaccinated as soon as possible to create a vaccinated population is a critical step in the effort to end the pandemic.
Furthermore, a healthy environmental health workforce is critical to reopening the economy. The business community relies on our workforce assessments, guidance, and assurance that their operations function in a healthful manner. The public health enterprise values our knowledge, skills, and abilities in working with the regulated community, day cares, educational facilities, and the hospitality industry, among others.
As NEHA president, I encourage our members and the entire environmental health community to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at the first opportunity and to actively promote vaccination among the communities they serve.
Sandra Long, REHS, RS
President, National Environmental Health Association