In this insightful conversation, a Community Health Worker (CHW) from Park DuValle Community Health Center engages with Dr. Booker to discuss concerns and misconceptions about the flu and COVID-19 vaccines. The CHW highlights the resistance they encounter during outreach calls, with patients often skeptical about the vaccine’s effectiveness or fearing adverse reactions based on their past experiences. Dr. Booker addresses these concerns, explaining the typical immune response to vaccination and the importance of vaccines in preventing severe illness. This dialogue aims to clarify misunderstandings and emphasize the critical role of vaccines in public health.
CHW: “Hello Dr. Booker! You have been doing rotating flu and covid vaccine clinic these last few months at each PDCHC location. I wanted to sit and talk with you because in preparation for these clinics, the CHWs conduct outreach calls to raise awareness and encourage patients to get vaccinated. Frequently, patients tell us that the reason they reject the idea of getting vaccinated is because they believe the vaccine won’t do anything for them or they claim to have gotten sick from the original vaccines. What thoughts do you have?
Dr. Booker: Typically, if you contact the virus after getting the vaccine. Most of the time you already came in contact with the virus before you got vaccinated or during the 10-14 day period in which your body was amounting an immune response. If you feel slightly ill after getting a vaccine it is normal to feel these side effects. These side effects include low grade fevers, fatigue, and other similar worries. And these side effects are mostly milder than those you get from contracting Covid or flu. The vaccines are not 100% effective, so you can still contract Covid and the flu after getting the vaccines. The benefit of these vaccines is that if you do contract Covid or the flu your body will already have built enough of an immune response against these viruses to prevent severe infection, hospitalization, and/or death. Any mild side effects from getting either vaccine are a sign that your body is having a normal immune response. Meaning, your body is working hard to build immunity.