How to Quantify COVID-19 Vaccine Risk in Every Patient Visit

To reach herd immunity in the US, we need to tip the balance of vaccinated vs unvaccinated farther in favor immunization. How are you addressing patient fears?

The rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has raised the bar for the percentage of the population that needs to be immune to the virus before the country can achieve the elusive goal of herd immunity.

Whether that immunity is the result of vaccination or infection, the original estimate of 70% has been raised to 85% of the population. (The viral load detected in persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain is approximately 1000 times greater than that detected with the original strain.)

We could get there more quickly if we can convince the unimmunized, vaccine-hesitant population to receive the vaccine now rather than later. In most surveys the primary reason for not getting the jab is concern over vaccine safety.

In dealing with this fear, I think the first step is to acknowledge that no vaccine is 100% safe and that getting vaccinated does expose one to some risk of rare and scientifically documented side effects like anaphylaxis, myocarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome syndrome (GBS), and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) depending upon the vaccine type received.

Would you be able to quantify these risks for a patient? Try this quiz to find out.