August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which presents a terrific opportunity to review reasons why individuals should be vaccinated against Covid-19. Every one of us remembers what life was like in early 2020. It was actually pretty normal. The, very quickly, life was anything but normal, especially if you worked in a healthcare organization. Many of our residents and fellow staff members quickly became very ill with the virulent virus first known as the Coronavirus. Some passed away. Lives changed in an instant. Masks, hand hygiene and other PPE became an integral part of our daily routine.
“The staff at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare dedicated much of their days and nights to caring for residents who were sick and scared, only communicating with their families by zoom,” said Karen Petruccelli, VP Clinical Quality and Education and Cohort Coordinator at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “As a result, we became their families. We did everything in our power to make them well. Even then, sometimes that was not enough. There was no weapon against this enemy.”
Then, in early in 2021, a glimmer of hope appeared. A vaccine! The two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, along with Johnson & Johnson, a one-dose vaccine, were now available to residents and staff. Many of those working in our nursing homes were anxious to sign up for the vaccine in an effort to protect themselves, their families, and the residents they cared for every day.
To date, our organization has achieved an extremely high immunization rate. Our goal, of course, is to have 100% of our residents and employees vaccinated against the coronavirus. Here is what you need to know about the vaccine:
- The vaccine is safe.
- Side effects are mild.
- The vaccine is free.
- The vaccine is required to continue working at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare after October 10, 2021.
- The vaccine protects and you and others around you. If you do become infected with Covid-19, you will have milder symptoms.
- By getting vaccinated, you protect others, like our children, who cannot yet be vaccinated.
Petruccelli noted that education is the key to getting more people vaccinated. “It’s natural for individuals to have questions about the vaccine,” commented Karen. “We are always available to answer questions and explain the benefits of receiving the vaccine.” When asked what people can do to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus, Petruccelli was quick to respond. “Become a healthcare Hero,” she advised. “Get vaccinated!”