"My Why" By Brittany Amick RN, Infection Prevention Manager
Why did you decide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine? I decided to get be vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect my friends, family, community and myself. Vaccinations are an important part of public health, and without vaccinations we could not prevent dangerous infectious diseases.
What would you like to say to those are who hesitant to receive the vaccine? Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective. The vaccine does not make you sick with the virus. But instead it activates your immune response to COVID-19.
What would you say to those who are worried about possible vaccine side effects? With any vaccination, side effects are common. Fever, fatigue, and chills are common with all vaccinations on the market. I would say be prepared for some side effects and know that they are normal. They are your body's normal response in activating your immune system.
What would you say to those who think it may not matter if they don’t get the vaccine? It definitely does make a difference. If you look throughout history, vaccines have been a huge part of public health. Every year people get vaccine-preventable illnesses in the United States. Those people are sometimes hospitalized and can even die from those vaccine-preventable diseases. We all have to do our part in preventing those diseases. Another important piece is to think of those who are very young or very sick and cannot get vaccinated. So it is your responsibility to do your part in public health to vaccinate yourself to protect those who cannot.
What made you feel safe to get the vaccine? When the COVID-19 vaccine first came out in Indiana, it was only released to frontline healthcare workers. Seeing my fellow healthcare workers also feeling safe and eagerly signing up, that made me feel better about my decision to be vaccinated.
What were your worries? I was worried. I think that’s a natural fear anytime something is new. My biggest fear was because it was a new vaccine. However, I don’t fear vaccinations, and I’ve always been an advocate for vaccines and have always received my vaccines. I believe in science and the power of science. That compelled me to receive my vaccination.
What’s the significance of this vaccine to you? At the end of the day, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel. 2020 was a very difficult year for many people including myself and many frontline healthcare workers. The COVID-19 vaccine has already decreased the amount of inpatient patients with COVID-19 and the amount of COVID-19-related deaths that we are seeing. So, it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s also hope, hope that my family and I can start doing the things we love together again, like going to the beach, traveling around the US and going to other countries.
What reassurance would you offer? Have faith in the CDC. Get vaccinated. And it’s still important to get vaccinated if you’ve had COVID-19.
This interview was conducted in the summer of 2021, prior to organizational decisions regarding employee vaccination status and booster recommendations.