01 Feb Vaccination of Frontline Workers Critical to Stopping COVID-19
New Hope of Indiana is so excited that our frontline workers can get the COVID-19 vaccine right now, leading the charge for our community’s health and safety. It’s incredibly important for all of our caregivers to be vaccinated to help protect their health and the vulnerable population that we serve from this virus. The stakes are high. Coronavirus has already killed more than 9,500 Hoosiers and sickened about 620,000 Indiana residents.
Why Healthcare Workers Should be Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that frontline health care workers be among the first people in the country vaccinated for several reasons. The first is that health care workers are at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of the volume of people that interact with and the likelihood they will come into contact with an infected person. As of December 3, the day CDC published its vaccine recommendations, there were more than 249,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 866 deaths among American healthcare personnel.
It’s also important for health care workers to be vaccinated in order to protect our capacity to care for others. When frontline workers get sick, the number of people available to care for patients or clients decreases. The CDC says early vaccine access is key to ensuring the health and safety of this critical workforce.
Finally, vaccinating healthcare workers and DSPs will help prevent the individuals we serve from getting the virus. Healthcare personnel who get COVID-19 can spread it to those they care for. Many of their patients have underlying conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness and complications. Health care workers can also spread the virus to their co-workers, which further reduces the staff available to care for clients.
The vaccines currently being administered have actually been in development for years. The coronavirus is not new, although COVID-19 is. Drug manufacturers have been studying coronavirus for decades and developing vaccines to combat it. The COVID-19 vaccines were thoroughly tested and went through rigorous evaluation before receiving emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are also being closely monitored as they are distributed. Most Americans who have received the vaccines have experienced very minor side effects.
First in Line
Longtime Direct Support Professional (DSP) Godfrey Onuchukwu was one of New Hope’s first caregivers in line for the vaccine. He received his first dose on January 5 and is getting his second in early February.
“It only took 15 minutes to get my vaccine!” said Godfrey. “I decided to get vaccinated to protect myself, to protect my coworkers, my family members, my community and the clients that I work with at New Hope. I want to be able to hug my family and hug my kids.”
New Hope will begin vaccinating the people it serves just as soon as the supply is available.
Godfrey has this advice for his co-workers and the larger community.
“Go ahead and go get your vaccination!” he said. “Don’t listen to all those conspiracy theories and misinformation. Listen to the scientists. I’ve been calling my friends to tell them to get their vaccines, and will keep calling until every one of them get the vaccine.”