By Barbara Kinder, CCO, RN, MA, MBA, CPPS, Clark Regional Medical Center
(Winchester, KY – February 2, 2020) – With COVID-19 disrupting our normal activities, holidays and get-togethers with family and friends, I know there are people here in our community who are facing much greater difficulties because of how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. I see these challenges every single day in my role on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic as Chief Clinical Officer at Clark Regional Medical Center.
That’s why I’m excited and proud to be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I know many people have questions or concerns about the vaccine – I did too, at first. However, after talking to other clinicians I know and trust, reviewing the facts and being tired of missing so much in 2020, I feel very confident in my decision to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same rigorous process to gain authorization that all vaccines available in the United States have gone through – no steps were skipped, and no corners were cut. Researchers anticipate that the vaccine will be approximately 95% effective. This is significantly higher than other common (and important) vaccines like the flu vaccine, which is typically between 40-60% effective.
You’ve probably heard about the potential side effects, which can include pain at the injection site and sometimes headaches, muscle pain, body aches, fatigue or fever. I personally experienced very minor flu-like symptoms, which were mild and went away within 24 hours. I can tell you from personal experience serving patients and families every day during this crisis that these potential side effects pale in comparison to the challenges that come with a serious case of COVID-19.
For me, I chose to get the vaccine because I wanted to be able to spend quality time with my family and friends, which I have missed greatly.
With the COVID-19 vaccine, I believe we are on the right path toward reaching an end to the pandemic and returning to normal life – but it is going to take all of us doing our part by choosing to get vaccinated, continuing to wear masks, maintaining social distancing and practicing hand hygiene until the vaccination is widely administered.
I want to encourage every member of our community to step up and be a vaccine hero once it is available to you. Do it for your family, your friends, yourself – and all of us at Clark Regional Medical Center.
While there is much that we all missed last year because of the pandemic, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this community, and I will continue to do my part to help ensure that brighter days are ahead in 2021.
For more information on where to get the vaccine, please visit https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-covid-vaccine or call the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
About Clark Regional Medical Center
Clark Regional Medical Center, part of LifePoint Health®, provides high-quality healthcare services in the east Central Kentucky region and is dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®. A 79-bed, acute care facility, Clark Regional Medical Center offers a wide range of both inpatient and outpatient services, including emergency medicine, cardiology, general surgery, oncology/hematology, orthopedics, radiology, rehabilitation services, transitional care, women’s services, women’s imaging (including 3D mammography) and wound care. The hospital has been recognized for its commitment to quality care and patient safety by national organizations such as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American College of Cardiology (Chest Pain Center accreditation), American College of Radiology, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety and the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, Clark Regional Medical Center has earned designation as a LifePoint Health National Quality Leader for its ongoing efforts to transform its culture of safety and achieve high standards of quality care, performance improvement and patient engagement. For more information about Clark Regional Medical Center, please call 859-745-3500 or visit ClarkRegional.org. For more information about LifePoint Health, visit www.LifePointHealth.net.