By Submitted Story on September 9, 2021
A year ago, our community and the nation were hoping for a way to slow the spread of the pandemic. Today, we have the power to do just that.
Each day, more details about the COVID-19 vaccine are released, and because of the many sources of information, some of the news is conflicting. Make no mistake, the vaccine is doing its job. While it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get COVID-19, it prepares your body to effectively deal with the virus and significantly reduces the severity of symptoms and incidents of hospitalization and death.
“It’s reassuring to observe firsthand that vaccines are demonstrating their effectiveness here in Dare County,” said Jennifer Reed, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Preventionist at The Outer Banks Hospital (TOBH). “We are seeing breakthrough cases here (those that test positive after being fully vaccinated) but at a significantly lower rate than the unvaccinated. Most of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated have had mild symptoms compared to the severity of symptoms in the unvaccinated population.”
Deciding whether to receive the vaccine is a personal choice. As with any health decision, it is advised to do research with credible sources.
“I, like many, was hesitant when the vaccine received emergency use authorization (EUA). So I educated myself and discovered that none of the research and testing related to the safety of the vaccine were skipped during EUA,” said Devereux Grindle, TOBH Director of Quality.
“Between discussions with both Pfizer and Moderna and extensive conversations with our pharmacy and infection control teams, I came to understand that the vaccine is not a live virus, nor will it change my DNA. I determined that the risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine was very low versus the risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming really sick. As a mother, wife, healthcare professional, and community member, the choice was clear. I had to get the vaccine.”
A big part of The Outer Banks Hospital and Medical Group’s mission is to encourage healthy choices. It’s difficult to witness the outcomes for patients who become seriously ill from COVID-19. Especially when they could be avoided
We recommend that anyone on the fence about getting the vaccine, soundly consider the choice. The data is clear: the number one way to protect yourself from COVID-19, and the severe symptoms requiring hospitalization, is to get vaccinated.
There’s a lot of solid information about COVID-19 and the vaccine on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Here are a few facts that may help some folks with their decision about vaccination:
• Millions of people in the United States and around the world have received COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
• Results from U.S. and global side-effect monitoring efforts have been reassuring. Very few unexpected patterns of reactions or safety concerns have been identified during vaccine safety monitoring.
• Common side effects from this vaccine are pain, redness, and swelling on the arm where the shot was given, and fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. Side effects are generally short-lived and are normal signs that the body is building protection.
• All of the currently authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines have been carefully reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is responsible for reviewing all safety data from clinical trials to determine if the expected benefits of vaccination outweigh potential risks.