6-21-2021 Public Health Update Note: I've been doing these updates throughout the pandemic mostly on social media, but I'll be putting them here as well too to make sure it gets out to those who need it! -Jennifer
Hi All, it's time for the Public Health Update from Essence Health and Research. I share these from time to time when I feel that we are reaching a high level of info in the media without a good way to fully make sense of all the different info on the pandemic or other public health issues.
Vaccination in King County
The news on the street is that we will be pushing towards full reopening status at the end of June along with cutting the mask mandate due to having over 70% of those 12 and older vaccinated in King County.
We are starting to move into a post pandemic world within a current pandemic still occurring. So, there are things to be concerned about for you and your family. We've had over a year to prepare for using absolutely solid hygiene, sanitation, social distancing, and self care protocols, but the reality is that as the world reopens, these protocols will get lazy with more people to constantly account for.
Stores are already getting more crowded with less social distancing and the more people you have to clean up after, with possibly less people doing the work of sanitation, there will be increased risk of spread. Unless stores/restaurants/schools are DEVOTED to sanitation, hygiene, and social distancing practices right along with customers and students, then we'll fall prey to the constantly evolving Covid-19 virus which will come out again higher towards the fall without a solid stop to its spread. So, stopping the spread will still fall on all of us and our commitment to public health routines.
PANDEMIC GUIDELINES as we try to move into a post pandemic world while still in a pandemic:
1. If you don't like the crowds or the potential of increased spread, shop or support at low traffic times or order online. You can still support your favorite business without being personally responsible for possibly spreading asymptomatic Covid-19.
2. Make sure you take sanitation and hygiene items with you when you go out. Wipe down your own cards or where you sit. Make a personal choice to social distance even if others are not.
3. WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC in crowds or sensitive areas where Covid-19 and its constantly evolving variants can spread. We are still TOO SOON to take down the mask mandate because we will need over 90% herd immunity to even think about squashing this virus. We don't have it. With full reopening status, more traveling, more contact, being lazy on public health guidance, this will lead to more cases which will make it more difficult when the potential of these vaccine protections wear off around September-December in the think of fall/winter season.
4. Be careful on your choices for travel. Make sure you are protecting yourself by having your public health routines and materials in place. Bring with you whatever you need for sanitation, hygiene, air purifying, and commit to social distancing.
VACCINE SKEPTICISM is not just a political party issue, it's coming from healthcare workers too.
I'm not sure where the political party issues came in with this vaccine rollout, but I assure you this is really not a political issue based on the people I'm talking to who are not getting vaccines right now. There are people in the mainstream healthcare system not getting vaccinated as well as the general public. This has more to do with potential health issues causing more severe vaccine reactions and the current vaccine reactions that are happening in children and adults. While I know there is a strong push for vaccination because it is one of the big ways for us to reach herd immunity, the reality is that, right now, these vaccines pose serious risks for those with certain health conditions and autoimmune disease. I am not judging those who not getting vaccinated because I am one of those people who also cannot get vaccinated right now for this very reason. These vaccines are simply not safe enough for me and others and pose too high of a risk.
I had a wonderful talk with another mainstream healthcare provider just recently and both of us have done our research and even talked with mentors, and if a healthcare worker on the front lines of primary care is concerned about the vaccines, that means that there are others who are concerned as well for the same reasons. More research is needed over time to make sure these vaccines are safer for those who are the most vulnerable to adverse events. For that reason, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that correct education is out there and that scientists are given the chance to come up with options that work better for all populations, not just those who are least likely to react to the vaccine.
Here are important vaccine reactions to be aware of:
1. Myocarditis (chest pain/chest inflammation) in teens getting the Covid-19 vaccine: https://www.npr.org/.../pfizer-covid-vaccine-teens...
2. Mixing the type of vaccine for your two doses could increase likelihood for vaccine reactions with full impact on immune system not yet known: https://www.cbc.ca/.../vaccines-mixing-doses-1.6023830
3. There is increased risk for those with autoimmune diseases with Covid-19 and vaccine reactions but not enough study has been done to alleviate concerns about these vaccine reactions: https://www.thelancet.com/.../PIIS2665-9913(21.../fulltext
4. There is limited safety data on the vaccines for those with weakened immune systems that can come from medical conditions or autoimmune disease: https://www.cdc.gov/.../recomm.../underlying-conditions.html
5. Blood clotting is a possible adverse event with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Here are the list of other vaccine reactions including possible allergic reactions: https://www.cdc.gov/.../vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html
Are you having a Vaccine reaction? Record it in these mobile apps or websites according to the guidelines:
V-safe mobile app: https://www.cdc.gov/.../2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/vsafe.html
VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System): https://vaers.hhs.gov/data.html
VAERS Adverse Event online reporting: https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html
Vaccine Side Effect Tracker--This is a website that is staying up to date with current vaccine reactions/adverse events to current vaccines around the globe: https://medshadow.org/covid19-vaccine-side-effects/
I hope this helps as we start to gear up for the changes ahead while realizing that WHAT WE DO NOW will dictate how our fall and winter season will be with Covid-19 and our health. We can do this. Be mindful and commit to good public health practices until we reach over 90% herd immunity. The more we commit now, the better we'll get at stomping out Covid-19 for good.