Some understanding for the vaccine-hesitant

Physicians look after, improve, and help maintain the health of patients using the medical tools available while first doing no harm. As a physician, my most important tool is my ability to foster professional relationships so patients feel understood and safe, and trust that I will be there for them when times inevitably get rough.

I do, however, find myself in a bind regarding my patients who are veterans who do not wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I have come to realize that many vets, particularly those deployed into combat zones, have previously received numerous vaccines and chemoprophylaxis agents while serving in uniform.

Force health protection is defined on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website as measures taken to promote, protect, improve, conserve, and restore the mental and physical wellbeing of service members. The CDC further adds that force health protection policy positions in the Department of Defense are issued as directives and instructions.

The men and women who signed on the dotted line can’t say “no.” Unless there is a medical exception, a service member must submit to being vaccinated to protect against disease and possible biological weapons. Some of these vaccines are rarely seen in the civilian world — inoculating against swine flu, anthrax, and other diseases many civilians will never worry about.

I can understand why some veterans would cringe and avoid a novel and newly developed mRNA vaccine. For many, the coercion used by some employers, governments, and commercial centers of social engagement is a source of consternation, resulting in even greater opposition to the vaccine as the focus moves away from science and towards one of saving face.

I am responsible for helping to educate my patients on the potential benefits and potential risks associated with receiving or refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. In the end, however, I tell my patients the final decision is in their hands and whatever they decide, they can trust I will continue to be there for them.

I well understand we are in the midst of a global pandemic caused by a contagious and potentially deadly virus. But if we are to get through this adversity together, perhaps a little less coercion and a little more understanding of others is just what the doctor ordered.

Dr. Michael D. Barnett lives in Albany.



Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! WebToday is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.