Apr 30, 2021 8:45 PM

Hammersmith: Vaccination still 'extremely important'

Posted Apr 30, 2021 8:45 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A risk-benefit analysis that guided nationwide recommendations regarding the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses starting up again suggested that it is much safer for women of childbearing age to get that vaccine than to not be vaccinated at all.

"If you have been vaccinated, you're saving over 297 COVID-19 related hospitalizations, 56 ICU admissions and 6 deaths would be prevented," said Karen Hammersmith with the Reno County Health Department. "That's why it's extremely important to get vaccinated."

Many of those most at risk have been vaccinated, but even more people need to roll up their sleeves.

"We need to protect everybody by getting more adults vaccinated," Hammersmith said. "I can look at that in a positive light. We have over 41% of the adult population that are eligible to be, vaccinated."

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be a one-time thing, or a yearly shot like the flu shot? It's too early to tell.

"We don't know yet," Hammersmith said. "The vaccine's been out, now, close to six months. They've been doing studies on that, but the medical side of things started getting vaccinated in late, late December and early January. By June they're going to decide, do we need a booster dose, that we're considered that you wouldn't have to quarantine, but then you're going to move forward from that."

Anecdotally, Hammersmith said that for those who use a two-shot series like the Moderna, if they've had the virus, typically there is an immune response to the first shot. If they haven't been exposed, then the larger response is to the second dose.