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COVID Vaccine: False sense of security or green light?

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Specializes in Tele RN on the West Coast. Has 11 years experience.

Am I untouchable now that I got the vaccine???

After perusing the posts I have seen much discussion about getting the COVID-19 vaccine/or not. This isn't one of those posts. I wanted to have a discussion with those who DID get the vaccine. 

COVID Vaccine: False sense of security or green light?

My parents cried, they were so elated to finally get the vaccine. "We can finally not worry anymore and have the whole family over!" My Mom said this with such enthusiasm and it was the first time over the last 10 months she seemed carefree. I wanted to immediately correct her since she had this "I am untouchable now I got the vaccine" way of thinking but I will let her revel in it until the 2nd Vaccine. Instead, I politely reminded her full immunity comes a week or so after the 2nd shot. If she starts planning an Easter party, I may need to have a discussion sooner.

I thought to myself, how many people are thinking this way? Is this much anticipated, solution to our problems vaccine giving too many of us a false sense of security? (Of course, I'm exaggerating a little) After experiencing a similar emotion after my 2nd injection I sort of understand. I had a moment when I thought this changes everything, but does it really? As a nurse I already researched the vaccine, coming to the realization we don't know enough about the vaccine, and we can't to go back to regular life. I had to mourn the loss of my old life just like everyone else. Had to go thru the 5 stages of grief. The stages went something like this-

1-Denial

This isn't happening! Covid Must be like another flu. (Boy were we wrong)

2- Anger

Stay at Home! Can't tell me what to do...what, everything is closed...guess I will just stay home then.

3-Bargaining- Viva Las Vegas 

If I just wear my mask, stay far apart then my 2020 Vegas trip will be just like before...nope, not the same. Life just is not the same.

4-Depression

My kids never going back to school, I am going out of my mind stuck in this house! On the super depressing side, I see patients, coworkers and friends dying. None of us have ever seen so much death. No time to dwell on this, no time to process these pesky emotions, back to work. I Will schedule appt with a therapist after all this is over... I.e. who knows when.

5- Acceptance

Not sure I have reached this one yet. Is tolerating something the same as acceptance? If so then I wavier between this stage and the last three depending on the day.

We all have our own version of this I assume. Every one of us going through this loss together but separately, not to mention the loved ones lost. 

I feel encouraged by the vaccine, all the while black clouds of uncertainty loom overhead. I read things like this and feel again like we have a long road ahead.

Quote

If I get a coronavirus vaccination, do I still have to wear a mask? Physical distance?

Yes. It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness.

Also, while the vaccine may prevent you from getting sick, it is unknown at this time if you can still carry and transmit the virus to others. That is why, until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, continuing with precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing will be important.

Safety and Effectiveness of a COVID-19 Vaccine

What I mean is this, after I got the vaccine I felt relief knowing I am less likely to get COVID. Unfortunately, studies haven't been done yet to determine if I could still carry and transmit it. I think that's the part so many of us are forgetting, which is easy to do. Maybe they will do studies and find otherwise but until then I am considering every risk I take. Am I wearing a mask at home? Obviously not, but when my friends say to me we should go out now since I have the vaccine and my parents say come over, I think not yet. I am in the thick of this, working with COVID + patients every shift and the risk is still too great. I would rather not even think about it, any of it. Alas everywhere I turn these thoughts invade my mind, situations bring up these questions and others.

I want to get out there so badly. I was even less cautious for maybe 4 months, back when things slowed down. Part of me wants to go out with them but wear a mask and be outside? I try to rationalize that if others see their extended families, then so could I. That's when my logical side kicks in and for me, at this point it's worth waiting a little while before a family reunion. I would feel horrible if I unknowingly brought an uninvited "guest".

So, thanks for letting me say my piece (sometimes wondering off topic but will bring it full circle here😏) Now that you know my inner struggle on this topic (sometimes hopeful, sometimes reality gets too real), I am wondering about others point of view who have been vaccinated, are you staying away for now or is the vaccine a green light for you to be around others? I know it's a personal choice but want to see other nurses' inner dialogue to see the reasons behind those choices. 

Thanks,

❤ Schweet

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88 Comment(s)

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

I've had both shots of the Pfizer vaccine.

I do private duty home care, and none of my clients have COVID as far as I know. At work, I continue to wear a KN95 mask, and I glove up when necessary, but I don't wear a gown. I do change clothes and wash up as soon as I get home - I have a regular routine, and that's not going to change any time soon.

This year, I'm feeling more hopeful. Yes, I am still masking, social distancing, and avoiding crowds - especially indoor crowds. I'm still doing church online, as so many in my congregation take off their masks as soon as they sit down. I don't think the singing inside is safe, either.

I didn't do any craft shows last year, but I think I will be a little more willing to do open air craft shows this year. If I put 4' of table between myself and customers, and I wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer PRN, It should be reasonably safe.

So, the fact that I've had the vaccine doesn't give me a green light . . . but maybe it's now a blinking yellow light.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

2 hours ago, Kitiger said:

but maybe it's now a blinking yellow light.

I agree, but am looking hopefull that we can have family gatherings in the Spring but our lives and actions have changed.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

If I do family gatherings in the Spring, it will be outside. 

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

I think it is premature to throw out the masks, but that certainly isn't stopping people. I had Covid this past fall, I still got both shots and was very thankful to get them, I still wear an N95 on the covid units, I still practice aggressive hand hygiene, not just to reduce my slim chance of reinfection but to help reduce my chances of spreading it.

My true concern lies with the variants of COVID, it was shown this week that the vaccine confers less protection towards the South African variant of around 50%.

The Brazil variant is causing strife in a city where 70% of the population had already had COVID and in theory should not have experienced another outbreak. They're finding that the antibodies don't bind to this variant as well, and so it is infecting people. The fear is that if natural immunity doesn't provide protection, then immunity from the vaccine may not either. They are still investigating that though. 

Fresh data show toll South African virus variant takes on vaccine efficacy

Why Scientists Are Very Worried About The Variant From Brazil

Schweet

Specializes in Tele RN on the West Coast. Has 11 years experience.

13 hours ago, londonflo said:

have family gatherings in the Spring but our lives and actions have changed.

@londonflo I hope my family can do this, it has been 10 months since I have traveled to see my parents. Been texting and chatting on phone only 😕. They're in the high risk category. I normally see them 2-3 times a year.

15 hours ago, Kitiger said:

but maybe it's now a blinking yellow light.

@KitigerI feel this way too, "let's cautiously move forward."

 

9 hours ago, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

My true concern lies with the variants of COVID

@TheMoonisMyLantern, I agree. This is a large part of the "dark cloud" hanging over me. Will the Pfizer vaccine we got be effective against those variants is the question? Early studies show maybe partially but we'll see. With all the flip flopping regarding this virus I feel this quote to be so true, "The only constant in life is change." We just have to roll with the changes.

Thanks for the responses you guys, I find I can't talk about Covid anymore, my husband said last year I can't mention covid more than once a day (apparently I was talking about it nonstop). I don't say anything to my friends except that work is crazy or at times getting better and my coworkers who would probably be the best outlet, are so busy and stressed like all of us, they can only seem to handle small talk or funny memes.

-Schweet❤

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 40 years experience.

You can always come here to talk. 

Yeah, the variants are very concerning and there's likely to be more discovered.  

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

Heard on news Moderna is working on a booster to address variants. This would be excellent.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 1/31/2021 at 3:22 PM, Schweet said:

My parents cried, they were so elated to finally get the vaccine. "We can finally not worry anymore and have the whole family over!" My Mom said this with such enthusiasm and it was the first time over the last 10 months she seemed carefree.

I know exactly how your parents feel. My husband and I feel exactly like this. For the first time in 10 months I can actually visualize a real get together. May be it will be one with masks but I will take it! Just a good solid hug would be great! Just kind of let us dream for a while!

PsychNurse24, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric, in school for PMHNP.. Has 12 years experience.

What good are the vaccines if they don’t allow us to get back to normal?  Almost one year later several people have passed away, and they were unable to see their family or friends in the months before they died.  (They did not die from Covid). I am a psychiatric nurse and am tired of seeing people’s mental health deteriorate and even people die because they don’t like being locked away and kept from family and friends and losing their jobs and losing their businesses and not being able to go to church etc. etc. etc.  The Short term and long term effects of the reactions to Covid, I believe, are destroying more lives than Covid itself.  So yes by mid year I will be back to normal. People will be less likely to get the coronavirus if they have been vaccinated and the survival rate is high. I am in my 60s and I’m not going to live in fear. Just my two cents worth!

2 hours ago, PsychNurse24 said:

Short term and long term effects of the reactions to Covid, I believe, are destroying more lives than Covid itself. 

Please clarify.  

This is a terrible American health disaster made worse by a public much more resistant to common sense mitigation strategies than expected.  The devastation of the effects of this poorly managed pandemic extend far and wide beyond the death toll, which is impressive on its own.  

PsychNurse24, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric, in school for PMHNP.. Has 12 years experience.

I see you’re blaming the public and The poor response!  I would love to know how people would’ve managed this pandemic better?  20/20 Hindsight Always makes it easier to place blame.  And I responded with my opinion, which is what this forum is for.  I am going to live my life, not cower in fear.

11 minutes ago, PsychNurse24 said:

I see you’re blaming the public and The poor response!  I would love to know how people would’ve managed this pandemic better?  20/20 Hindsight Always makes it easier to place blame.  And I responded with my opinion, which is what this forum is for.  I am going to live my life, not cower in fear.

I simply asked you to clarify your opinion while providing context for the request.  That's also what these forums are for.  I don't want to misunderstand your position. 

People could have done better by wearing masks, social distancing and not whining about how it was a violation of some "right" to follow the recommendations.  

Are you suggesting that those of us who are practicing social distancing, masking and and caution in public settings are cowering in fear? It sounds like it.  Maybe I understood your original point better than I thought. 

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

1 hour ago, PsychNurse24 said:

I see you’re blaming the public and The poor response!  I would love to know how people would’ve managed this pandemic better?  20/20 Hindsight Always makes it easier to place blame.  And I responded with my opinion, which is what this forum is for.  I am going to live my life, not cower in fear.

Let's see, the CDC has been predicting a major pandemic for decades, this didn't just fall out of the sky. Most major hospital systems, governmental agencies have people who's sole purpose is disaster planning and emergency management and yet still we were completely unprepared.

Inaniel_88, ADN

Specializes in Lomg Term Care, Rehab. Has 8 years experience.

I thought..and maybe im wrong...the whole reason I was on the fence about it (the vaccine)..was it stops you from getting it really bad and dying but it doesnt stop you from transmitting it person to person.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

2 hours ago, PsychNurse24 said:

 20/20 Hindsight

I don't think 'hindsight' has anything to do with the national pandemic and the US reaction and employment of strategies that would have  helped limit the spread, if our leadership had been at all effective, used all the resources smarter people than he had created and if he/his family would have been  role models for how to mask and social distance. We had a national nightmare happen and we are now left to pick up the pieces. I do agree our people's mental health has taken a big hit. We will learn more in the future when we start to really see what develops when people are limited in social and family connections for 11 months.

2 hours ago, toomuchbaloney said:

The devastation of the effects of this poorly managed pandemic extend far and wide beyond the death toll, which is impressive on its own.  

 

2 hours ago, toomuchbaloney said:

People could have done better by wearing masks, social distancing and not whining about how it was a violation of some "right" to follow the recommendations.  

 

2 hours ago, PsychNurse24 said:

I am going to live my life, not cower in fear.

I am not cowering in fear but very mindful that poor leadership led us very astray.

But if we all work together, we may come out of this okay

PsychNurse24, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric, in school for PMHNP.. Has 12 years experience.

3 hours ago, toomuchbaloney said:

I simply asked you to clarify your opinion while providing context for the request.  That's also what these forums are for.  I don't want to misunderstand your position. 

People could have done better by wearing masks, social distancing and not whining about how it was a violation of some "right" to follow the recommendations.  

Are you suggesting that those of us who are practicing social distancing, masking and and caution in public settings are cowering in fear? It sounds like it.  Maybe I understood your original point better than I thought. 

I also am following social distancing, and wearing a mask, and practicing hand hygiene. At some point we have got to start living our lives again. I live in a rural farming community; not many people have Covid. Lockdowns are affecting peoples’ mental health and destroying businesses which causes people to go bankrupt, breaks up marriages and families, results in more drinking and overdoses, etc. We will not know the effects on mental health for years to come.  Lockdowns, in our community, Are more deadly and dangerous than coronavirus.  And preventing people from leaving their houses, by mandatory lockdowns, is a violation of our rights!