Author: Kara Cameron, DOR, Messiah Village
The COVID-19 vaccine is HERE!!!! The AdvantageCare team at Messiah Village had the opportunity to be vaccinated on January 2, 2021; what a great way to start the New Year! Over 400 team members and residents participated in the first round of vaccination on this day. The second shot will be administered on January 23, 2021.
When asked to write something for the Advantage Blog, I immediately thought of sharing personal experiences from the ACR Team members who opted to receive the Pfizer vaccine this month. We had 13 out of 23 team members receive the first round of the vaccine. I asked those 13 team members 5 questions:
- What was your purpose in receiving the vaccine?
- Did you have a reaction to the vaccine?
- When you hear ‘COVID-19’ what do you immediately think?
- How has COVID-19 impacted your life?
- What are your ‘hopes’ with the vaccine as it becomes more available?
I will summarize the responses received.
Purpose in receiving the vaccination? To protect family, friends, coworkers, and patients/residents, was the most received response. Although, one team member shared, she wants her oldest son to have ‘in person’ graduation for his senior year at High School. Travel to other states to visit family members. HUG!!!! Hug family, friends and residents was another large response. Finally, live in a healthy community, eat out without restrictions, go to public areas without a mask or fear of spreading or catching the virus.
Reaction to the vaccine? Most team members did NOT have an adverse reaction, other than soreness at injection site, similar to the Flu shot. As no two people are alike, we did have team members with side effects, both mild to moderate. Those side effects ranged from muscle aches, chills, headache, fever, nausea, rash, and lymph node pain. The majority of the team members’ side effects disappeared after 24 hours, with the exception of arm pain from the injection site, which seemed to last 48 hours. However, one team member who also tested positive for COVID-19 in November had the side effects longer, with greater intensity. All team members stated they would have the vaccination again even with the side effects.
Immediate thought when hearing COVID-19? Responses such as: sadness, isolation, new norms, suffering within the community, the division between those who believe and those who think COVID is a hoax, financial loss, impact on family members, loss of lives, masks, face shields, PPE gear, change in healthcare day to day operations, loss of personal touch with residents, pandemic, horrific, scary, quarantine and ‘Thank God for a vaccination!’
Personal impact from COVID-19? We have all suffered a personal impact from COVID-19. Here are some personal struggles from the Messiah Village ACR Team: Not experiencing a stress-free work environment or workday since March of 2020. Fear of entering the workplace each day. Fear of carrying germs home to family. Quarantining from family, friends, work, and community. Missing holidays with family. Traveling or vacationing. Depression. Being isolated from visiting elderly family members in facilities. Death of family members without the ‘normal’ goodbye. Post-Traumatic Stress with the number of deaths over a 4-week time period.
One team member is currently experiencing their father in ICU due to COVID-19, the various complications from the virus, and the feeling of being helpless and trusting in the hands of the Dr’s. “It is heartbreaking to watch as there is not much we can do. It is in the hands of the Dr’s. Considering he was an independent man at home, working full time, to being in ICU, 11 days and counting.”
Hopes with the vaccine as it becomes available? “To do away with the ‘new norms,’ masks, face shields, PPE gear, isolation, community restrictions, and allow hugging again.’ “Hope people trust the science/professionals and get vaccinated, to prevent others from what I am currently experiencing.”
“Hope the vaccine paves the way to a light at the end of the tunnel, to minimize deaths, allow more of a sense of normalcy, and restore happiness that has been stolen for too long.” “Allow visitations between residents and family members.”
Cheers to a healthy, happy, reduction of COVID-19, 2021, from the ACR team at Messiah Village to ALL of you.
Let’s STOP the Spread!