Opinion: Keep Up All Safety Precautions And Be Prepared To Get Vaccinated

An Open Letter To Our Community:

Wellington Regional Medical Center recently received our first package that could represent a light at the end of the tunnel. Strong words for a box that was not much larger than a shoebox. Inside was the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for distribution to frontline healthcare heroes at Wellington Regional who are directly involved in the care of COVID-19 patients. Over the next several months, the healthcare industry anticipates enough vaccine will be made available to the general public.

Since March, the healthcare community has been faced with the difficult task of caring for patients during a global pandemic. It has not been easy on any of us, and we have never been more proud of our staff’s professionalism and response to this crisis. One of the primary objectives of scientists around the world over the past year has been the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. The result has been the rapid development of several vaccines that appear to be effective in protecting against the virus. The result has been hope.

However, now is not the time to be complacent. Now is not the time to relax our precautions. Until the vaccine is available for widespread distribution, we encourage you to continue to do the simple acts that have shown to be effective in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus… steps such as wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, not gathering in large groups and frequently washing your hands. Pandemic fatigue is real, and the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your family is to continue the safety protocols recommended by the CDC.

And so it begins with the arrival of a small plain box. For the pandemic to end, enough members of the public either need to catch the virus and develop antibodies, or take the vaccine. With enough people carrying the antibodies to prevent COVID-19 infections, we can develop the protection known as herd immunity. Our staff is currently doing its part to help put an end to the pandemic, we encourage you to do your part and get the COVID-19 vaccination when it is available to the general public. Until then, be safe. This truly ends when we do it together.

Pam Tahan, CEO, Wellington Regional Medical Center

Dr. Adam Bromberg, Chief of Staff, WRMC

Dr. Larry Bush, Infectious Diseases, WRMC