“Education and Promotion of the Vaccine Rollout”
Recently, I was searching for an email and came across my first meeting agenda that included COVID-19 planning as a standing item. January 20, 2020. It has officially been one full year of the pandemic that has reshaped all aspects of healthcare and our lives. This email was obviously followed by an overwhelming wall of COVID-19 emails and a twinge of the tremendous anxiety from that time, which has thankfully dulled somewhat from the exposure therapy of living through the last 12 months.
I compare this now to emails from this week that are bursting with updates related to the COVID-19 vaccine and expanding access throughout healthcare systems. Like all stages of handling this pandemic, there is a call now for family physicians to help with education and promotion of the vaccine rollout. Being on the frontline across Wisconsin and the nation, family physicians are sharing their experiences as they get vaccinated, working to correct misinformation and reassure those within our spheres of influence. We are truly experts in public health and COVID-19 in our communities, and the conversations we have with our coworkers, patients, and communities can forge the path to the end of this pandemic.
For anyone looking to share more through social media, the CDC continues to put out updated messaging and resources that can be shared on all platforms. We at the WAFP will also continue to provide shareable resources to reinforce this messaging. Of course, the most powerful tool you have for persuasion is your own voice; please be vocal with your knowledge and experience and encourage those around you to get vaccinated! Wisconsin will be moving soon(ish) to public vaccinations, and we need to have these conversations now to have a successful turnout and reach herd immunity.
While this year has certainly not brought the miracle turnabout that so many were hoping for, I truly have a sense of hope for where we are heading. We have many more tools than we did one full year ago, not the least of which is the resilience of family physicians and confidence in our role in public health. Thank you for continuing to inspire all of our communities with your tireless work; I am looking forward to getting a little closer to when we can meet in person again!
Elizabeth Pyne, MD