COVID-19 Summer 2021 Update
- Vaccines are still available from local health departments. We recommend that everyone eligible get the vaccination at this point.
- We also understand that many of you have concerns and questions about the COVID vaccines.
- Our first recommendation is to double-check the source from which your information is coming. There is a painful amount of misinformation floating around, and while we want to be able to debunk each and every myth, the truth is that double-checking the reliability of the source is almost more important (and, frankly, more efficient).
- Finding a good source for your information is important not just in the realm of COVID and vaccines — it’s important for life! There are people out there (scientists, journalists, researchers, and epidemiologists) who are experts in this field.
- In order for us all to survive in our lives, we truly have to rely on experts to help us navigate complexities that just aren’t in our lane. For example, we rely on experts to build our roads and buildings (you wouldn’t hire just anyone to build your house, right? You’d hire a contractor and architect who know what they’re doing.) We rely on expert engineers and manufacturers to build our smart phones (you’re not going to buy just any smart phone off the street — you buy one built by a company with a good reputation, right?). We rely on legal experts when we have to deal with the court system.
- Finding good, reliable experts makes it easier for you — for all of us — to get through complex information.
- Good sources for vaccine information:
- CDC.gov has guidance on COVID from a national perspective.
- Both KDHE (for Kansas) and MDHSS (for Missouri) have more local information about COVID-19 and vaccines.
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has an excellent Vaccine Education Center for all sorts of questions about vaccines — from the ingredients to side effects, you can get a lot of your concerns addressed here.
- If you are bold enough to do your own research, PubMed, The New England Journal of Medicine, and The Journal of the American Medical Association all are great resources that publish studies related to COVID-19; these studies are what experts use to frame their recommendations, and the science is continually being updated and changing!
- Though newspapers and journalists are one step removed from the above primary sources of information (i.e. they quote the above resources when they do their reporting), they can often distill the complicated information above into digestible information. News outlets that generally do a good job of nonpartisan, well-researched reporting when it comes to health and science are:
- Other sources and links/headlines from social media (unless from some of the above sources) should be critically assessed and are likely not helpful or factual information.
- The Delta variant is quite prevalent in our area.
- The Delta variant is more transmissible than the initial SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- For those who are not vaccinated, it can cause severe illness and death — as has been the case since day one with COVID
- People are still dying on a daily basis from COVID.
- The good news is that the vaccines continue to be relatively effective against this variant.
- Get vaccinated! And if you’ve only had one of the two recommended doses, get your second dose!
- People who have been vaccinated can still get COVID.
- This does not mean that the vaccines “don’t work.”
- Vaccinated individuals who contract COVID have much less severe illness and the chance of being hospitalized or dying from COVID is very, very small for those who have had the vaccine.
- That’s the point of vaccines — to reduce the seriousness of diseases!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. We’re here to help!
Allison Edwards, MD