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by Becky Fletchall, RN, BSN Nurse Administrator
This week marks a full year since Ringgold County Public Health began their vaccination campaign against COVID-19. In a year’s time, county residents have received a total of 6,452 doses at office-based clinics, pharmacies, and home delivery throughout our community with 70% of doses given by public health. “We are thrilled to have provided and continue to provide protection from severe illness and hospitalization to the majority of our residents. Sadly, friends and neighbors have lost loved ones too soon to this virus,” states Becky Fletchall, RN, BSN Nurse Administrator. “To be optimally protected, booster doses are needed.”
Vaccine hesitancy nationwide continues to slow. Reasons shared by those who have recently opted to vaccinate include severe illness/death of someone they know who was unvaccinated, protecting family members at higher risk of complications, recommendation by their medical care provider/pediatrician, travel requirements, employer mandate, new variants, and increased comfort with the vaccine with so many receiving it.
Common questions about COVID-19 vaccine and brief education include:
Speed: Scientists had an earlier start to developing the mRNA vaccine thanks to virus relatives of COVID including SARS and MERS. Also, the technology has been around for decades, but received significant financial investments with the recent pandemic.
Safety: COVID-19 vaccines went through all required clinical trials. It is safer to receive vaccine than to get COVID-19. Millions of people in the US have received vaccine with publicly shared safety monitoring. Locally, we’ve had no safety concerns with COVID-19 vaccinations received.
Natural illness: Latest research suggests that COVID-19 vaccines offer better protection than natural immunity and can help prevent reinfections. If you had COVID-19 and were treated with monoclonal antibodies, it is recommended to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine. CDC recommends vaccine for those who have been ill with COVID-19 as soon as full recovery is complete.
Vaccine side effects: Long-term effect of COVID illness (damage to lungs, heart and brain) are more concerning than the mild, short-term symptoms experienced by some with vaccine.
“We appreciate the support of our partners in this endeavor. We’re so glad to be making progress in protecting our community from COVID illness,” states Fletchall. “Please talk with a trusted medical care provider if you have more questions or concerns.”
Please call 641-464-0691 if you are interested in receiving vaccine.