Honest Talk From Those Who Were Unsure
Lora Tripplett, Sterile Processing Technician
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
I lost two of my older brothers to COVID-19 last fall. Then when the vaccine became available, I was hearing stories about why you shouldn't take it. People were saying they don't know what's in it; it's only being given to people of color; there's a chip in it.
I was hesitant at first. But, I knew I had to trust somebody. After losing my two brothers to COVID-19, I decided that I'm trusting the scientists. They know what they're doing. Now, I would encourage anyone to get it. I don't want anyone to have to go through what I did.
Kate Matousek, Vice President, Operations
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital
I was unsure about getting the vaccine because I am a breastfeeding mom, and I wasn't sure if it was wise to get it since there wasn't research done on that population. I ultimately wanted to get vaccinated to protect my parents, my grandmother and my kids, but was concerned about any unforeseen consequences to my infant daughter.
I ended up getting the vaccine because the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists put out a statement that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant or lactating women. I decided that the bigger risk to my circle was exposing them to COVID-19 as opposed to concern about not having evidence documenting the vaccine response in lactating women.
I wanted to do my part to fight COVID-19 and help us achieve a state where the world that my kids grow up in can be less restricted and more fun! I also want them to be able to spend as much time with their grandparents and great-grandma as possible because life is short, and we need to savor every moment together.
Brit Teson, BSN, Labor and Delivery
Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital
I am pro-vaccine, had all the recommended vaccinations as a child, and I follow the recommended guidelines for vaccinations for my children. When it came to the COVID-19 vaccine, however, I was nervous about how quickly it was developed. I also was pregnant, which brought concerns of its own.
There was so much buzz about the importance of healthcare workers getting the vaccine and the complications of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy to both mother and fetus. Despite being in good health now, I have an autoimmune condition, so that was another concern. I wasn't sure which would be worse for my health: a COVID-19 infection or a potential complication from the vaccination.
I made phone calls to my personal physicians, relayed my concerns, discussed my pregnancy and ultimately got strong recommendations to be vaccinated given my health history and that I was a healthcare worker with high potential for exposure. I did some more research on my own. Having been a molecular and cellular biology major before nursing school was helpful. I researched the RNA vaccine techniques, looked up the ingredients of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (the two most popular and most likely ones to be available to me) and read reports of the clinical trials from each manufacturer. Doing this gave me more peace of mind than I had anticipated.
It took me about four weeks to decide, and it was not a decision I made lightly. Given my research and discussions I had with my physicians, I made the right decision for myself. I even enrolled in three research studies regarding vaccination in pregnancy to help contribute to the scientific community's knowledge about this vaccine in hopes that some other pregnant women or healthcare providers would feel safer about receiving or recommending this vaccine.