Vaccinations a ‘monumental undertaking’

Published 9:34 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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Alabama received their first distribution of vaccine on December 14th, 2020.  As of Jan. 4, there have been 42,810 doses of vaccine administered in Alabama according to the Alabama Department of Health.  

We have been in Phase 1a of vaccination consisting of healthcare workers.  Shortly thereafter, residents of long-term care began receiving vaccinations.  On Jan. 18, Alabama entered Phase 1b vaccinating people 75 years and older and all first responders including law enforcement and firefighters.

This is a monumental undertaking, but one that is definitely worth all our time and effort.

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Phase 1c will be the next phase of administration consisting of persons 65 to 74 and persons 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart failure and many other high risk medical conditions.  When this will open is not clear.  

How important is it for you to get a vaccination?  It is unknown yet what percentage of the population must be vaccinated to achieve “herd immunity”.  With both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccination, 94-95 percent immunity begins approximately two weeks after the second dose has been administered.

This does not completely protect you from getting the Coronavirus, but studies have shown that with our body’s immunity generated by the vaccine it should help diminish the effects of acquiring the virus.  It’s important that we all carefully weigh the pros and cons for ourselves in getting the vaccine.  Our Pharmacy and Physician staff at TRMC explained that while we don’t know everything about the vaccine, we are learning more and more every day.

However, we definitely know what the COVID-19 virus can do and the sickness and loss of life that has followed.  

Decide what YOU want to risk and what you are willing to risk for those around you.  

We are working hard at TRMC to vaccinate our first responders that are working to take care of you when you need us most. Help us Help you by doing the following

• Wash your hands

• Watch your Distance

• Wear a mask AND please be willing to take the vaccine.

Rick E. Smith is chief executive officer of Troy Regional Medical Center.