Dr. Judith Ford, Medical Director at Nevada Intermountain Healthcare, spoke with KSNV 3 News about COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Ford addressed COVID vaccine concerns and gave practical advice to people in Nevada about ongoing safety after getting vaccinated. Here’s a transcript of that conversation. The interview took place in February of 2021, so some of the statistics about the vaccinated population are outdated. For current information on vaccination rates in Nevada or other states, Becker’s Hospital Review is keeping an active daily report you can view here.
Transcript: *This interview was published February 25, 2021. All stats referring to vaccinations are accurate during the interview but have increased*
Reed Cowan, KSNV 3 News: Joining us now is Medical Director at [Intermountain Healthcare in Nevada], Dr. Judith Ford. This month we’re really focusing on the vaccine and the concerns over some having adverse effects. Let’s hear it. How safe are people in getting the vaccine, and what would you say to those who are genuinely concerned?
Dr. Judith Ford: Thanks for having me. I hear it all. I hear all the concerns. The concerns are really unjustified. These two vaccines that have been FDA-approved are very safe. Now 12% of Nevada has received at least one shot. There are some minor side effects: fever, chills, body aches. But they’re usually quite limited to a day or two. And it’s a small price to pay for protecting yourself and your loved ones and getting our community back on its feet.
Cowan: And we appreciate the word of confidence there. I have to tell you I have a family member in rural Utah who was really afraid to get it. I said, Mom — I’m telling on her if she’s watching — I said it’s ok, all the doctors say it’s ok. She went and got it. It was just like you said. How is the vaccine helping us battle the pandemic at large? Are we able to see the metrics and see the numbers go down attributed directly to the vaccine?
Ford: Well not yet. As I mentioned, 12% of Nevada has received one dose of vaccine but only 5% so far have received two. So it’s too soon for that phrase we’re all waiting for herd immunity based on the vaccine. All the infectious disease experts are agreeing that the trend down that we’re seeing which is really amazing is probably due to what we’ve learned throughout the full year: social distancing, masking, hand hygiene. So it’s a little too soon to celebrate the vaccine’s success. I think the success is all of that grind of social distancing that we’ve learned throughout this very hard year.
Cowan: Very hard indeed. We’re also getting news of people being able to see — in reduced numbers — a Golden Knights game in person. That’s sort of a breath of relief here locally. A lot of people have that COVID fatigue, ready to get back to normal. What’s your recommendation so we can continue to see that positive trend and see those cases go down, that test positivity rate go down? We love to say it’s going down. How can we keep it up?
Ford: I love it too. I look at the website every day, the state website, every day. I love it too. So you must stay masked, especially around people outside of your household. Don’t get complacent with family and friends outside of your household, we’re still seeing that. Wash your hands when you come in from the store and get your vaccine when you’re eligible. Really exciting that we’ve opened up to 65 and older. So when it’s your turn, get in line and get your shot.
Cowan: And ask questions, right? Ask questions when it’s your healthcare.
Ford: Oh absolutely! Do your research, there’s a lot of information on the internet that’s free, or ask your primary care doctor or health professional.
Cowan: Information, knowledge is power, and we appreciate you bringing it to the airs tonight.
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Intermountain Healthcare is proud to assist in the COVID-19 vaccination effort. Learn more about the Nevada COVID vaccine and how Intermountain Healthcare is offering services to the community during the pandemic. To make an appointment for any of your health needs, contact us and find a provider today.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or qualified healthcare professional.