PANEL DISCUSSION OF COVID-19 RISKS VS. VACCINATION
Learn from our medical team and surrounding experts as they discuss the FDA-approved COVID-19 Vaccine, address your common questions and concerns, and share their experiences.
We value and need our employees and want everyone to feel comfortable with their choices. Hopefully, this webinar will answer your questions concerning COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr. McCabe’s Response to the Live COVID-19 Webinar
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Cathleen McCabe was in surgery with a patient during the live webinar.
Dr. McCabe appreciates and supports our staff. She provided a video response to the Live COVID-19 All Staff Webinar.
Hear more from Dr. McCabe as she addresses comments and concerns about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccination.
There are no guarantees, like many things in life. There is no guarantee that if you take an aspirin, you will not bleed. However, the FDA approval of this vaccine was rigorous, and the science supports its safety. The FDA accumulates safety information on an ongoing basis through monitoring systems like V-safe. Currently, 386M vaccines have been given in the US. No significant safety concerns have emerged that have changed the recommendation for vaccination even in subsets of patients (such as pregnant women). In fact, the safety data is remarkably strong and will likely allow for expansion of vaccination recommendations to include children as young as 5 years old very soon.
If you say, “you don’t know all of the symptoms of the vaccine,” then how can you say you know it’s not going to affect women getting pregnant or losing babies? There is a lot of information being collected on patients of every subgroup including pregnant women and those wishing to become pregnant. As Dr. Likes covered, the data overwhelmingly demonstrates greater risk for pregnant women and their unborn babies with coronavirus infection and little to no risk with the vaccine. Common side effects from the vaccine include:
To the injection site:
Throughout the rest of your body
- Muscle Pain
There have been reports of irregular menstrual cycles and changes in how heavy the cycle is but these appear to be temporary, only lasting one or two cycles. There are some reports of post vaccine bleeding after menopause but any irregular bleeding should be checked by your doctor. With large data sets, even patients who have bleeding from other causes, such as low estrogen, can look like it is related to prior events. There has been no connection with the vaccine and post-menopausal bleeding established and it is being monitored.
Safety and Importance of Vaccine
MRNA vaccine research has a long history and the concept has been in ongoing studies.
Trials occur before an FDA approval, and they are rigorous, which is why FDA approval is our safety standard in the USA. The trials actually began very shortly after the first infections showed up in the US. Very large numbers of patients have been vaccinated and very closely followed and monitored to determine efficacy and side effects since the beginning of clinical trial.
Today, COVID numbers are higher because the vaccine has mutated, or changed characteristics of transmissibility. The Delta variant is more easily transmitted to other patients and the number of viral particles that an infected patient will have in their throat and respiratory system is many times that of other variants. Even vaccinated patients can have enough virus in their throat to pass it on to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. It is because the dominant variant (Delta) is so much easier to spread that we now have much higher covid infection numbers despite the fact that more than 50% of the population is now vaccinated.
Although it is true that you can still become infected with covid even if you are fully vaccinated, the chance that you will be symptomatic, hospitalized, on a ventilator or die is very small compared with the risks for unvaccinated individuals.
Individual immunity after covid infection varies due to many factors including the variant of the virus, the severity of symptoms, age of the patient, and immune health of the patient. There is clear data to show that the vaccine results in more consistent levels of immunity and data to show that post infected and then vaccinated individuals may have the highest immune response. There is no known antibody level that has been determined to confer adequate immunity so that a vaccine is not warranted or helpful.
There is no known safe antibody level that would make vaccination not beneficial. Keeping your immune system strong by eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, decreasing stress, and exercising are all important ways to augment the effect of other measures such as vaccines.
Yes, consideration will be given in the federal requirement around specific exceptions.
True, it is your choice, but the federal government is taking action to protect those most vulnerable, prevent further deaths and get our economy back on track. If we don’t get the DELTA variant under control, this pandemic will rage on for years. We agree, what happens to your body is ALWAYS your choice. But choices do have consequences and you have to carefully weigh those for your particular situation. There are many rules and regulations we have to follow. For instance, medical students are required to have a hepatitis B vaccination series and a flu vaccine, among other requirements. It is something you have to choose to be comfortable with in order to see patients in a healthcare setting. Speed limits help save the lives of drivers and those around them, and still people speed or go through a stop sign without stopping. They may be risking a fine or injury if they break this rule, and also may not be able to continue in some jobs such as a school bus driver.
Our governors support vaccination, but not a mandate by the federal branch of our government. The struggle between the federal and state branches of government is ongoing and we will monitor this but believe that we will need to comply with federal mandates despite this political disagreement.
We expect the federal requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated to pass and are preparing for that to be finalized soon.
We support vaccination for the health and welfare of everyone of our employees. The requirement will likely include all health-care employees, remote or not, but we do not have the specific criteria yet.
Medicare/Medicaid (CMS) reimbursement is 60% of our business. If the federal requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated passes, we will comply. We hope that you will reconsider getting vaccinated. The leadership of this company is vaccinated and supports the science behind this approach.
No. There is no bonus for our company to comply with 100% vaccination, but if we do not, then we risk losing our Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements thereafter.
Likely within a few months, but no specific date has been announced.