The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Get the vaccine before you get sick

- DEAR DR. ROACH Contact Dr. Roach at ToYourGood­Health@med.

I live in Florida and the recent explosion of COVID cases — where it seems 90% of cases are those who, for whatever reason, are not vaccinated — got me to wondering about medical treatment specific to those situations. Should part of their course of medical treatment include getting one of the COVID vaccines? I’m not a scientist, but that seems to be a logical response to what often appears to be an illogical decision on the part of the hospitaliz­ed individual.

— K.S.


I have certainly heard of people asking for the COVID-19 vaccine when they are admitted, or just before they are intubated, but by then it is too late.

All vaccines take time to work. Nearly all vaccines need to be given well before an exposure to be effective. There are two exceptions: Both the rabies vaccine and the smallpox vaccine are effective if given immediatel­y after exposure. Unfortunat­ely, once symptoms have started, vaccines are no longer effective, for any disease I know.

For COVID-19, a person is considered fully immunized two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after their single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

While I agree with you that some people are making an illogical decision not to get vaccinated, many others are doing so based on misinforma­tion. They may have heard something, usually passed on in good faith, that leads them to think the vaccine has more risk than getting COVID, but this is absolutely not true.

Further, more than a few people are falling victim to malicious and untrue informatio­n about the vaccine or the disease that is passed along either to profit someone who is selling unscrupulo­us treatments, or by people who simply want to cause chaos.

Many health care workers are physically, mentally and emotionall­y exhausted by nearly two years of the pandemic, and it is hard to continue to care for people who have, mostly, chosen not to get the vaccine and who are very ill or dying due to that decision. That’s why I continue to implore people to get the vaccine before they get sick. Today would be a good day if you haven’t yet done so.

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