Talking to your patients about vaccines? Try some forest fire prevention

For patients who think the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us and think there’s no need to get one of the vaccines, you may try talking to them about forest fires.

For patients who think the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us and think there’s no need to get one of the vaccines, you may try talking to them about forest fires.

If they think of the pandemic as a fire raging through the world’s population, we don’t want them to be the tinder that allows the fire to keep spreading.

Just like fire needs fuel to keep spreading, the pandemic’s virus needs people to fuel it and allow it to spread and continue mutating.

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Putting fire retardant on trees as the flames advance can rob the fire of fuel. That’s similar to how vaccines, masks, social distancing and diligent hand-washing give the virus fewer places to settle in and spread.

Add that to the population already recovered from the virus, and the pathogen starts to run out of places to go. Eventually, we hope, the fire is under control and extinguished. Those who don’t get vaccinated are a little like a tree that is just what the fire needs to keep going.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are shown to be safe and highly effective. Patients who think the pandemic is over or that enough people have gotten it, they are risking their own health as well as those around them,” said Joseph M. Flynn, D.O., MPH, FACP, chief administrative officer of Norton Medical Group and physician-in-chief of Norton Cancer Institute. “Supplies are plentiful and it’s free.”


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