Healthcare workers set aside hesitancy over vaccine for themselves and patients
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - As COVID cases begin to rise, medical professionals are getting louder in their pleas for people to get vaccinated.
The search to bust myths and persuade people to take the shot is not just for outsiders, it’s also for those within their own ranks. Vaccine hesitancy is an issue in all kinds of industries, including the healthcare industry.
However, a recent rise in COVID numbers has people starting to change their minds. Officials with Singing River Health System want to provide all the opportunities possible for employees to get that vaccination at all three of their campuses, including the one in Ocean Springs.
The vaccination rate among physicians in the Singing River Health System is close to 100%. As for everyone else, it might be surprising.
“The vaccination rate among all of our staff is just like the rest of the world, actually,” said Lee Bond, Singing River Health System CEO. “It’s just above 50 percent.”
“My only explanation would be we are in a politically divided world, and health care is not immune,” he said.
And Bond added, a vaccination mandate is not an option right now for fear it could send staffers elsewhere.
“The problem is if other states don’t do it also, we’re at a huge disadvantage,” he said. “While a mandate in theory, for us, due to the polarization of the world and the beliefs people have, we can’t afford to lose any nurses.”
Denetrice Bostic, a SRHS surgical technologist, is like many who have delayed getting a COVID vaccination.
“Honestly, I was scared,” she said. “I was scared more of the side effects than anything. It wasn’t the shot itself.”
But it was her colleagues and a desire to do what was right for others that finally got through.
“Talking with them and working with the surgeons and they put my mind at ease,” she said. “But mainly it was for my daughter.”
And for her patients.
“I had a 16-year-old patient for surgery,” said Bostic. “Looking at her she reminded me of my daughter. And, in my job, I’m here to protect them. And I can’t protect my patients if I’m not protected.”
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