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Layers of safety for COVID-19, and life

Layers of safety for COVID-19, and life

I frequently get asked coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine questions in the Campbell County Memorial Hospital Emergency department by patients and patients families. Most want to know about the vaccines effectiveness, safety and side effects. The CDC’s bulletins and the maker’s vaccine fact sheet are the best sources of information for this data, and you can find this information easily on our website at www.cchwyo.org/c19vaccine.

I frequently hear people say, “If it’s not a guarantee, why would I get it?”

I think that is a very good question. But, let me also mention that nothing we do in medicine or life is a guarantee.

Keeping people safe from COVID-19 is much like keeping people safe from any other danger. It requires LAYERS of safety.

I frequently use this analogy:

When you drive, you:

  • wear your seatbelt
  • put children in car seats
  • drive in your lane
  • drive the speed limit (or if you’re like me, you try to drive the speed limit)
  • don’t drive intoxicated
  • stay off your phone while driving

Many cars also provide you with amazing technology such as airbags, crumple zones and locking seatbelts. All of these layers are steps that you take to try to stay safe from car accidents.

However, we all know that there is no guarantee to prevent car accidents. You can be doing everything right, and still get in a car accident. It’s the layers of safety that I mentioned above that help prevent serious injuries in a car accident.

I look at coronavirus prevention the same way. We:

  • social distance
  • wash our hands more frequently
  • wear masks when appropriate
  • avoid crowds
  • and the coronavirus vaccine is important part of prevention and safety with coronavirus.

The vaccine has been proven to be effective and preventing severe coronavirus infection. So even if our best attempts at social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing fail, the coronavirus vaccine (much like a seatbelt in a car accident) can prevent the coronavirus infection from becoming so severe that it lands you in the hospital—or worse, dead.

The vaccine is only part of the solution for coronavirus. The vaccine alone will not keep us safe, just as a seatbelt isn’t a guarantee to keep you safe if you are doing nothing else to prevent a car accident. The vaccine is part of the LAYERS of safety that will help prevent illness and death in our community.

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. They can help you decide if the vaccine is right for you.

But I also encourage you to keep wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing because everything we do has a cumulative effect in keeping us all safe.

CCH offers COVID-19 Vaccine in Campbell County, Wyoming

CCH is offering the Johnson & Johnson COVD-19 vaccination at several Campbell County Medical Group clinics in Gillette and Wright, Wyoming. Vaccination is by appointment only. Currently, the next time the hotline (307-688-6050) will be open to schedule appointments is Wednesday, March 24, for vaccination clinics to be held on Tuesday, March 30 and Thursday, April 1. These dates are tentative and depend on when we can receive the next round of vaccinations due to winter weather. The vaccination is free. Those eligible for vaccination are defined by the Wyoming Department of Health.

If you have questions about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, please speak with your primary care provider; CCH providers can be found at www.cchwyo.org/findadoc.

You can read more about the vaccines at www.cchwyo.org/c19vaccine.

Deanna L. Lassegard, MD, is an Emergency Physician at Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette, Wyoming. Our resident safety expert, Dr. Lassegard writes Simple Safety blogs for Campbell County Health.