Health Blog: Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine

July 31, 2021
On March 2, 2021, Dolly Parton received her first Covid-19 vaccine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  As she was being vaccinated, she sang the following words to the iconic tune for her song,  “Jolene”.  The updated words go like this:
                                              
Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine
I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate
Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine
’Cause once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late
 
As I sing this tune, I want to give a big shout out and thanks to St. Andrew Lutheran Church’s very own Jolene, who as the Parish Administrator, has given more than 100 percent to keeping St. Andrew viable, visible and safe during the pandemic. No, the original Dolly song is not about the Jolene that we know. The new words fit nicely to the meter of the original song and I can’t help but be motivated to assist Dolly by finding and writing the latest facts on why we all need to be vaccinated.
 
As I write on July 24, 2021, the health of the United States is in crisis with 60,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day. Unfortunately there are no state lines that can keep this virus from spreading from one state or one county within that state to another. On this date the national tracker for Covid-19 data show that cases of the virus are up 140%, and hospitalizations and deaths are up approximately 37%. The data fully show that the United States is speeding toward a resurgence of the pandemic rather than recovering from the pandemic. National statistics show that the new pandemic caused by the incredibly infectious, highly transmissible Delta variant, is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Sadly 98-99% of individuals who are hospitalized and dying with Covid have not been vaccinated.  Breakthrough cases, when a fully vaccinated person becomes infected, are rare and according to the latest CDC report may occur in 0.01% of those who have been fully vaccinated. If you are not vaccinated for Covid-19 you might seriously consider these additional facts:
 
Where might the world be today if vaccines for a variety of contagious diseases had not been discovered and produced!  Many of us might not be alive today without vaccines for a variety of organisms including small pox, typhoid fever, diphtheria, polio and tetanus. Others including  pertussis, rubella, rubeola, and mumps can cause permanent bodily damage. We and our parents gladly held out our arms for these vaccines with hope that we would not be the next victims of a deadly pandemic. Due to the courage of medical scientists who developed the vaccines and our forbearers who insisted that we be vaccinated, several of these diseases have been totally eradicated.   Though the Covid-19 vaccine is not fully certified by the FDA, millions of individuals across the United States have been vaccinated with no ill effects.
 
Public health workers and physicians across the US are begging people to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of Covid-19, in particular the Delta variant. Dr Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist recently stated that; “We have two choices, we are either going to get vaccinated and end the pandemic, or accept a lot of death, this surge and another surge and possibly another variant.”
 
There is a lot that scientists have learned and still much to learn about Covid-19 and how it is spread. Dr Carlos del Rio, associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine states that “someone with the Delta variant is likely to infect eight or nine individuals who in turn will each infect another eight or nine individuals, triggering an exponential spread.” As one might expect, growth of the virus is occurring around us in low vaccination states, i.e. Arkansas and Missouri,  but is beginning to spread and grow in neighboring states including Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. You might believe that if you have been ill with Covid that you are protected from a second or third round of this disease. Most people who have recovered from Covid-19 do develop antibodies but it is not known how long the antibodies will last or protect them from other variants. The best protection for individuals recovering from Covid is to be vaccinated with physician guidance as soon as possible.
 
While the study of the vaccinated is a work in progress we do know that vaccination for Covid is the best protection from severe illness. It is also the best option for developing immunity against this novel virus.
 
So, who do you protect if you are vaccinated?  You not only protect yourself  but you help to protect children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Medical care givers who are overburdened with too many Covid cases certainly deserve your attention. You may also protect vaccinated individuals who due to age or other circumstances may have compromised immunity.  
 
Don’t Hesitate! Join Dolly in singing Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine as you get your vaccination! It will only hurt briefly and you will have purposefully done your part to stop the spread of this deadly disease to individuals at the office, at church, at home, in your community and even around the world! We waited with patience for a vaccine and it is now time to join thousands of others with Courage, Hope, Compassion and Love in pledging to help prevent the spread of this deadly disease! 
 
References:
  • Deliso, Meredith, Statistics Show the Stark Risks of not Getting Vaccinated Against Corvid-19, ABC News, July 19, 2021, read at 5:02 AM, abcnews.go.com.
  • Dolly Parton Vaccine Gif by Giphy News – Find and Share on Giphy, twitter.com/Dolly Parton.
  • Goodman, Brenda, MA, Dealing With a Different Beast’: Why Delta Has Doctors Worried, Medscape Nurses, July 20,2021, www.medscape.com.
  • Kalter, Lindsay, Delta Variant Among the Most Infectious Viruses, CDC Says, Medscape Nurses, July 22, 2021,  www.medscape.com.
  • McNamara, Damian, Dangers of Delta, a Summer Surge, and Masks: One Expert’s Take, Medscape Nurses, May19, 2021, www.medscape.com.
  • Pearson, Cornelia, RN, MN, Courage, Hope, Compassion and Love, Newsletter, Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, Franklin, TN, and E-News, ELCA SES, January 2021.
 
 
Cornelia Pearson, RN, MN
Member, St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Franklin, TN