Ochsner Experts Help Patient Make Informed Decision About COVID Vaccine
When the COVID-19 vaccine first came out, Bettye Hill-Davis, a retired kindergarten teacher who taught in Florida's public schools for 41 years, says she was hesitant about getting the vaccine because of her medical conditions. Bettye was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation-congestive heart failure 10 years ago, and she also has chronic venous insufficiency. Additionally, Bettye says the past mistreatment of African Americans in vaccine trials also contributed to her concern. That was until she watched a Facebook Live in February hosted by Ochsner experts, including Deborah Grimes, system vice president and chief diversity officer; Dr. Victoria Smith, associate medical director of St. Charles Parish Hospital and primary care - River Region; Dr. Eboni Price-Haywood, medical director of Ochsner Xavier Institute for Health Equity and Research; and Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, medical director of Infection Control and Prevention, where they discussed the COVID-19 vaccine as it pertains to the Black community.
Bettye says, "The program was very accessible for me since my health concerns limit my mobility, and each panelist spoke directly to the fears that I had. I appreciated that not only was Ochsner aware of the historical maltreatment of minority groups, but they spoke to it and provided fact-based information that was very easy for me to understand. I made up my mind after this presentation that I would try to get a vaccine when I could.”
In March of 2021, Bettye received the Moderna COVID vaccine series to protect herself and her family and is now fully vaccinated. Bettye says, " I knew I was making the right decision. Panels like the one that I saw from Ochsner are very helpful for people like me. Thank you to Ochsner for providing this to our community."
“I have also been encouraging my family members who are not vaccinated, to please make it a priority. I am pleased that several of my loved ones have decided to prioritize protecting themselves and others by getting vaccinated.”
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best tools we have to end this pandemic. The vaccines are safe and effective in preventing hospitalization from COVID-19. While we encourage everyone to get the vaccine, we also understand that it can come with questions and hesitation for some. Maybe you have a medical condition, and you aren't sure if you should get the vaccine? Or, perhaps you read something about it online that is giving you pause? It is more important than ever that you are talking and listening to medical experts who can help you come to a decision that is best for you and your health, which is exactly what Bettye did.
Thank you for sharing your vaccination story, Bettye!
To learn where you can get your COVID-19 vaccine today, visit ochsner.org/vaccineinfo.