I’ve lived and worked in the area for over five years now. I love our community, but recently, I’ve been feeling more and more isolated from my friends. I haven’t gotten the COVID vaccine, and I feel like I can’t fully participate in things because of my vaccination status. My work is also requiring proof of vaccination, but I’m just not sure that I’m comfortable with getting vaccinated. The vaccines came out so quickly, and I’m not sure if there’s enough data to prove that they’re safe. We just don’t know what the long-term effects are, and I’m worried about health problems down the road. I don’t want to risk getting sick or spreading COVID to other people, but I’m just not sure if getting vaccinated is worth the risk. What should I do?
Thank you for reaching out with your question. Your concerns are completely valid! While it seems like the vaccines were developed very quickly, scientists had been working on this technology for years. Millions of people in the United States and around the world have received COVID-19 vaccines, which have undergone the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history, and they have not caused any safety concerns. Also, it is very unlikely that the vaccines could have long-term health effects. The COVID-19 vaccines only remain in your body for a day or two, so they do not cause any negative long-term effects. In fact, no vaccine in history has ever caused a disease or condition to develop in the long term. It’s far more likely that being infected with COVID-19 will have a long-term impact on your health, as the virus can linger in your body for a long time.
We would also like to address the social isolation that you are feeling. The pandemic has been a lonely time for many of us, and winter in a rural area like ours can be isolating as well. It’s important to have someone to talk to when you’re feeling this way. TCHNetwork’s teletherapists can help. We can match you with the right therapist for your needs, and we even have bilingual and bicultural clinicians. They can talk you through the loneliness that you’re feeling and help you take care of your mental health. They accept Medicaid, and there is grant funding available for those without insurance. We can even set you up with a computer and internet to use during your appointment. Go to https://tchnetwork.org/teletherapy/ to sign up or call 970.708.7096. If you had the flu or a broken bone, you wouldn’t wait to get help. This winter, make your mental health a priority.
The TCHNetwork Team
-Hannah Frater, Public Health Marketing Coordinator VISTA