Because of the recent discovery and increased severity of the COVID-19 Delta variant, getting fully vaccinated is imperative to sustaining the reopening of our community. Vaccines are just one of the healthy best practices Pitkin County Public Health is recommending for everyone, including children under 12 years old.
Vaccines for Kids
The process of ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective in children under 12 is currently in its clinical trial stages. No matter how strong children’s immune system can be, they are different from an adult’s and require exceptional observation when it comes to protecting them from viruses like COVID-19. Because vulnerable groups like this are still at risk (especially children with disabilities or medical conditions) for contracting COVID-19, it is important to take the necessary measures to keep yourself and others safe until we can all get fully vaccinated.
Resource to reference how you can protect unvaccinated children while restrictions loosen and the public reopens.
Summer Season is Here
Here in Pitkin County, the summer boom and bloom brings more activities, more people, and unfortunately, more opportunities to contract COVID-19 and other viruses. This summer season, the projected tourism is higher than ever before. Out-of-towners, seasonal dwellers, and locals will be gathering in large and small crowds and recreating all around Pitkin County. Consider getting vaccinated as your ticket to having a summer that doesn’t involve the worry of contracting COVID-19, or giving it to others within the community.
- River running and more, make sure that you are:
- Socializing smart
- Communicating with friends and family about their vaccination status prior to socializing
- Practicing social distancing when appropriate, and
- Continuing to follow the healthy best practies:
- Washing hands often
- Getting vaccinated
- Socializing smart and
- Staying home if you start to experience symptoms.
Even if you may be vaccinated, you might still know someone that is vaccine hesitant. Here are some tips on having a conversation with someone who is vaccine hesitant.
Vaccine Hesitancy Discussion Tips
While there are millions of Americans who are excited and eager to roll up their sleeves for a vaccine, there are also others who may be hesitant, or even curious, but still unsure of whether or not they want the vaccine. Vaccines are a sensitive and tough subject. While these conversations can be difficult, it is much more effective for people who are vaccine-hesitant/curious to hear from a friend or loved one about their trust and decision to get a vaccine. Vaccines and the conversations around them can have ties to a person’s beliefs about safety, health, religion, and background. Political views may also come into play as we engage in these discussions. Here are some tips on how to talk with a friend or loved one about vaccines.
Be empathetic and understanding
Acknowledge and recognize their concerns and learn about the reasons for those concerns. We must practice mutual respect no matter what approach someone has on vaccines. Lecturing, shaming, or threatening is unproductive and may cause someone to completely disengage if they feel they are being disrespected or not listened to. Platforms like the Internet make it extremely easy to get information that may be incorrect or politically motivated.
Point to good resources
Resources like the CDC, our own local COVID-19 website, or their own trusted source such as an individual’s doctor or nurse can help aid them in getting their questions answered. Sharing accurate and easy-to-digest information can go a long way in helping your friend or loved one feel confident about getting the vaccine. If you cannot answer their question, help them look for a reputable resource that can.
Know that vaccines are a personal choice
All in all, the decision to get a vaccine is a personal one. Some may or may not choose to get a vaccine based on their individual background or experiences. Despite the fact that getting vaccinated is a personal choice, it does affect the outside community apart from the individual. Vaccines not only protect an individual from COVID-19 but they protect others as well, preventing more exposure to more people they encounter. While public health encourages everyone to get vaccinated based on data that prove effectiveness, know that vaccines are a personal choice.