With the COVID-19 vaccine local rollout, hope seems to be on the horizon. As the rollout moves into phase 1B and beyond, more Americans around the country are becoming eligible. While many anxiously wonder when they might get their shot, others question its effectiveness. Some are even hesitant to take it for fear of side effects. Three local medical experts join our hosts to address these concerns about the COVID-19 vaccination and its local impact.
Guests on the Show
- Jonathan Pinsky, MD – Medical Director of Infection Control & Prevention, Edward Hospital
- Kevin Most, DO – Chief Medical Officer, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital
- Rashmi Chugh, MD, MPH – Medical Officer, DuPage County Health Department
“There have not been any severe adverse reactions to the vaccine,” said Pinsky. He discussed the trials of 30,000 people who took the vaccine. Pinsky added there had been no deaths and those who had an anaphylactic reaction was about 2.5 people out of every million. For the average person, side effects are minimal. “You hear about people having fevers, feeling a little achy for a day but getting sick enough to miss a day of work, that’s very rare.”
“Any transient side effects, which are expected, you can plan to have it on a day where you don’t have too much on your schedule,” said Chugh. “But that’s really nothing compared to the tragic impact that this has had on our community.” She explained that there have been more than 67,000 cases in DuPage County, with more than 1,090 deaths.
“For people that are vaccine hesitant, if they’re in that healthy group by the time they are able to receive the vaccination, the vaccine will be in the arms of millions of people,” said Most. “So by the time we get to the summer, weather it’s 100 million or 150 million it will be one of the largest vaccine studies.
From Federal to Local Level
The group also discussed how the resources now available at the federal level impacts us locally.
“We are really looking at it as more of a supply issue and how are we getting the vaccine and getting the vaccination in the arm?” said Most. “It’s nice knowing that we have the funding there but you have dollars versus product. We want to make sure we have the right product.”
“The vaccination supply is going to be a much bigger issue in the coming weeks,” said Chugh. She explained the fact this is a two-dose vaccine further complicates things. Hospitals and medical offices need to plan for not only the initial dose but the subsequent dose. “The more stable the supply is and the more we know ahead of time, the better we can plan for the coming weeks.”
“Just having a plan is reassuring,” said Pinsky, talking about a national plan that lays out details regarding production of more vaccine, getting it allocated quickly, places where it will be distributed and a general timeline.
A Shot of Hope
This expert panel seemed very optimistic on the near future when it comes to vaccinating the general public and improving the state of the country amid this pandemic.
“I’ll tell you one side effect that people haven’t talked about and that’s the optimism people have,” said Most. “People are walking out with this shot with a smile on their face, knowing that they are making a difference and that we’re closer to the end. So we might have a sore arm but there’s a lot more optimism that this shot gives as a side effect.”
“We are so lucky to have this vaccine in our arsenal now to help prevent transmission in our community,” said Chugh. “We truly are in this together.”
COVID-19 Vaccine in the News
- DuPage County Complex Turns into Vaccination Site
- Illinois’ Vaccine Rollout Website
- DuPage, Will Counties Eyeing Moving Into Phase 1B
About the Show
Finding Common Ground focuses on important current events and how they impact our diverse population. We are many voices of one community, often with strong opinions on every side of an issue. Here, through courageous conversation in the interest of discovering collaborative solutions, we hope to find out common ground.
All guests and viewers are invited to acknowledge the four agreements to courageous conversations:
- Stay Engaged
- Speak Your Truth
- Experience Discomfort
- Expect and Accept Non-Closure