DENVER (CBS4) – Anyone 16 and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in many states, but some people remain hesitant. CBS Denver Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida said it’s important to make sure you are talking to your health care provider, not social media, for facts during his weekly question and answer session on CBSN Denver.

He said we all have a duty as members of the community to protect ourselves and others from the virus.

“That is truly a ‘COVID Golden Rule’ moment. This is a situation where the sooner we get everybody vaccinated, the sooner we will wind up protecting our loved ones, our friends, our community and the sooner we’ll be able to get things reopened totally,” Hnida said.

With more people getting vaccinated, there are new studies about the vaccines and the protection they offer. Hnida said one of the most important looks at just how effective and safe the vaccines are in the real-world setting.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had a 94 percent efficacy rate in the controlled, clinical studies. But the CDC has just released data from vaccinated people who were not included in the studies, like people who are elderly, have underlying medical conditions, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

“Those people had 90 percent protection from getting COVID and 100% protection from severe illness, hospitalization and death so the vaccine is really shown in the real world to be very effective,” Hnida said.

He said that new research shows they are effective against the variants that circulate, making it important to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Hnida pointed out another important finding in the latest research.

“Fully vaccinated people do not appear to be a really great risk when it comes to carrying and transmitting to others. That is, once again, after they are fully vaccinated. That was something we were really concerned about, could you possibly carry the virus and pass it on to others? It seems like it is much less likely than we initially thought.”