COVID-19 has made an impact on all of our lives since March 2020. A sign of hope comes to Franklin County on Monday December 21st, as the first COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine reaches our community. Franklin County Medical Center became the first approved provider to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Frontline medical staff, including physicians, nurses, CNA’s, nurse anesthetists, pharmacists and EMS, received their first round of the vaccine. Over the next few weeks healthcare workers, first responders, long term care residents, and other healthcare entities will be receiving the vaccine. The public can expect to see the vaccine in the late spring.
Building defenses against COVID-19 in our community is going to be a team effort. And you are a key part of that defense. Knowing that no one tool alone is going to stop the pandemic our best protection from the virus will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a facemask, staying at least six feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing your hands and staying home when sick. If we use all these tools, we stand a chance of getting our families, community, schools, and workplaces “back to normal” sooner.
However, we understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated once it is available. With processes and procedures in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine, safety is our top priority. Based on what we currently know the COVID-19 vaccine will help keep you from getting the virus at a 95% immunity rate and will be a safer way to help build protection and be an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Franklin County Medical Center is proud to have been approved to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to our healthcare workers and community members.
While wearing masks and social distancing help reduce the chance of being exposed or spreading the virus to others, these measures are not enough. Vaccines work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. The combination of getting vaccinated and following the CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself will offer the best protection from COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is a 2 dose vaccine given 21 days apart. Within 2 weeks of the second dose a person is estimated to have full immunity from COVID-19. The healthcare providers at Franklin County Medical Center have spent months caring for COVID-19 infected patients and residents. Many are grateful to see a way out of the pandemic for themselves and for our patients.
In the meantime, there is a treatment proving to be effective at reducing severity and duration of COVID-19 symptoms and the likelihood of hospitalization. Administered through an IV infusion on an outpatient basis, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens such as the COVID-19 virus. It is approved for those who have received a COVID-19 positive test in the last 7 days, are 55 years of age or older, or who have other chronic health conditions. Prescribed by our providers at Willow Valley Medical Clinic, schedule an appointment to determine if this type of treatment is right for you.