If you haven’t
please consider it.
A healthy community
means a healthy economy.
A healthy economy means a healthy community.
A 2021 poll tells us that 47% of Lewis & Clark residents believe good jobs and a healthy economy equals a healthy community.* But, our community is stressed. Despite a record low unemployment rate, small businesses can’t find workers and can’t stay open. A recent study by the Brookings Institute* stated the long-term effects of COVID could be the reason behind 15% of unfilled jobs. With the vaccine, if you get a breakthrough case, you’re 5 times less likely to face hospitalization and can get back to work after a shorter recovery. Simply put, an unvaccinated workforce doesn’t work for Montana.
Make a plan.
There are vaccine sites in Lewis & Clark County that make it easy to plan your appointment. The appointment is fast, discreet, and free. Please click on the location icon on the map for mobile, pop-up, or appointment-based vaccine clinics, or testing locations. And, thank you.
talk to a local.
No one should belittle or mock your concerns. We understand this is YOUR health; the choice to be vaccinated remains with you. Give us a call so we can talk to you about your questions, gather all the facts, and help you make the right decision for you and your family.
What’s riskier-COVID or the vaccine?
Everyone has an opinion, but the decision to get the vaccine is personal. So let’s talk about your personal
risk. Because numbers don’t have an opinion.
Data was gathered from peer-reviewed studies and verified sources
Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination
Prevalence and clinical outcomes of myocarditis and pericarditis in 718,365 COVID-19 patients
Risk/Benefit assessment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic events after Janssen COVID-19 vaccines: Applying Evidence to Recommendation Framework
Urologists United for Vaccine Education
Addressing male sexual and reproductive health in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak
We asked a few locals to answer some questions that come often – here are their responses.
Q: What about myocarditis?
A Doctor originally from Great Falls “There are some cases of myocarditis from the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines. 2.13 cases per 100k if receiving at least one dose of the vaccine in one big study published in New England Journal of Medicine based on data out of Israel. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System reports a lower rate. The DoD reports a rate of 8.2 cases per 100k. The rate of myocarditis after COVID infection is 45 per 100k.”
Q: How has COVID affected your business?
A Small Business Owner in Helena
“I own two small shops in downtown Helena (alterations and tailoring and a boutique). We are a community of unique shops dependent on a healthy Helena. We rely on every business thriving in order for us all to succeed.
Business has not bounced back since the pandemic began two years ago. That is because special events, weddings and other occasions for formal wear have been canceled or cut back. We believe if people helped to stop the spread of covid we would be able to bounce back more quickly.
For our Boutique we have truly appreciated our customers being responsible by getting fully vaxxed, wearing masks when inside, staying home if they have symptoms etc… but despite everyone’s efforts it isn’t enough. We need everyone to do their part and get a shot please.”
The COVID conversation is full of misinformation and manipulation. We are interested in the data, not the drama. Here are some common questions/topics surrounding the vaccine.
How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccines have received the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history, which has allowed public health officials to make science-based recommendations that keep people safe. More than 150,000 people participated in U.S. clinical trials of the vaccines, and now, hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in the U.S. have been safely administered. As with all vaccines, there will be ongoing monitoring for adverse events among vaccinated people.
What about the side effects?
You might have side effects from either or both of your COVID-19 vaccine doses. These are typical signs that your body is building protection from the virus. These side effects may feel like the flu and may even affect your ability to do daily activities. Symptoms should resolve within a few days.
Common side effects include: In the arm where you got the shot, expect pain and swelling. Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the sore area to reduce discomfort. Use or exercise your arm.
You may feel fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly. Talk to your doctor about an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
The risk of having a severe adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is very low — far lower than the risk of contracting COVID-19. The CDC and FDA are closely monitoring vaccine outcomes to ensure safety.
Do I still need to get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?
Data show that immunity in people who have been infected with COVID-19 wanes over time and that COVID-19 vaccination can provide a higher, more robust, and more consistent level of immunity to protect people from COVID-19 than antibodies from infection alone.
Will currently available COVID-19 vaccines protect me from variants?
The delta variant is nearly twice as contagious as earlier variants and might cause more severe illness. While research suggests that COVID-19 vaccines are slightly less effective against the delta variant, the COVID-19 vaccines still appear to protect against severe delta COVID-19.
The omicron variant might spread more easily than other variants, including delta. The COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective at preventing severe omicron illness. Scientists are still learning – keep an eye out for updated information to come daily.
I’m a healthy person with no risk factors (obesity, age, smoker), why should I get the vaccine?
Not getting vaccinated puts you at a much higher risk of severe COVID-19, which can make you seriously sick for an extended period and possibly cause lasting damage—even if you’re free of risk factors, young, and healthy. We still don’t know why COVID causes such severe disease in some people, so it’s impossible to predict whether you’ll have a mild or serious case if you are exposed.
There’s also the added convenience of being vaccinated! You don’t have to quarantine if you’ve been exposed to someone you later found out was infected with COVID-19. And, if you end up traveling someplace that requires a vaccine, that will already be taken care of. In addition, you won’t have to worry about getting other people sick.
If I’m vaccinated and encounter someone with COVID, can I still work?
Fully vaccinated individuals can continue to work if they are in close contact with someone who tested positive to COVID-19, but it is recommended this individual get tested 5-7 days after contact even if they don’t have symptoms. Watch for symptoms for next two weeks and wear a face covering in public indoor places to prevent possible spread. If one develops symptoms, they are required to isolate and get tested.
Will other people know I’ve been vaccinated?
Not unless you tell them. Your vaccine status is protected health information and cannot be shared by the provider who gave it to you.
I’ve heard these vaccines were rushed into approvals. I’m worried that means they aren’t tested or safe.
More than 4 billion people worldwide have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, equal to about 56% of the world population.
Many people worry that these vaccines were ‘rushed’ into use and still do not have full FDA approval — they are currently being distributed under Emergency Use Authorizations. But because we have had so many people vaccinated, we have far more safety data than we have had for any other vaccine. These COVID vaccines have an incredible safety track record. There should be confidence in that.
Can pregnant women receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Based on a recent study, the CDC now clearly recommends that pregnant women get vaccinated against COVID-19. The study found no safety concerns among 35,000 pregnant women who got the shots.
I’ve heard about people getting long-term side effects like Myocarditis from the vaccine. What about that?
About one in 100,000 people receiving the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine have experienced a clotting disorder known as thrombotic thrombocytopenia, including 79 cases among more than 20 million people receiving this vaccine in the United Kingdom and 19 deaths. A smaller number of cases have occurred with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
Myocarditis, or heart muscle inflammation, has been reported in people receiving Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. That is about one in a million or possibly higher rates in some populations. All of these occur no more than a month after the vaccination. There is a greater risk of getting myocarditis from COVID-19 than from the vaccines.
On July 12, 2021, the FDA announced that in rare cases (100 reports out of 12.8 million shots given in the United States), the J&J vaccine is associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. The cases were mainly reported two weeks after injection and mostly in men aged 50 and older.
Can I get vaccinated privately?
Yes. You can always make an appointment with a doctor for a check-up and request the vaccine at the appointment. By law, your medical provider must protect your privacy.
Will the vaccine cause erectile dysfunction?
There is no evidence suggesting that COVID-19 vaccines can cause ED or damage the penis or testicles. However, recent studies show a link between patients who have had COVID-19 and erectile dysfunction.
Will the vaccine protect me from this new Omicron variant?
The current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection from the Omicron variant. Early data suggests vaccines are around 30%-40% effective at preventing infections and 70% effective at preventing severe disease from Omicron. The data is evolving daily as Omicron spreads quickly across the country. Still, the one continuous fact is that if a person is vaccinated, they are less likely to be infected.