Why Vaccinate for COVID-19: Episode 28
Date: January 15th 2021
Hosts: Bryan Reynolds & Kristin Davenport
Guests: Dr. Jeff Shlaudecker
Episode 28 Transcript
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:04] Hello, hello, hello, welcome to Episode twenty eight of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services. This episode is for the week of January 11th, two thousand twenty one. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Bryan Reynolds Vice President of Marketing of Episcopal Retirement Services, and I'm here with Kristin Davenport, our director of communications for IRS and our executive producer. How are you, Kristen? Happy twenty twenty one.
Kristin Davenport [00:00:30] Absolutely Bryan. It's good to be here. It's good to be in the New Year and to get back to doing our podcast together. It's good to talk with you.
Bryan Reynolds [00:00:39] Yeah, I think I missed it over the holidays, so I'm anxious to start off twenty, twenty one and I think we got a great great first episode. So you want to tell us about it.
Kristin Davenport [00:00:51] Yeah, you bet. So on with us today is our Dr. Jeff Shlaudecker, who is an ERS medical director known affectionately around the ERS communities, just as Dr. Jeff. He joins Bryan today in Bryan. Also, we check in with president and CEO, a Laura Lamb and Laura will have some updates for us. Some important things happened over the holidays and into the New Year. It'd be great to hear from Laura.
Bryan Reynolds [00:01:24] Yeah. And just as a reminder, the Linkage podcast is dedicated to educating our audience about issues regarding aging, informing people about the mission of SARS and how that comes to life in our everyday interactions with residents, clients, families and staff members. So with that being said, Kristen, do you want to introduce our first guest with Dr. Jeff?
Kristin Davenport [00:01:45] Bryan this week to talk about all things Covid 19, including, of course, the vaccine. Dr. Jeff has joined us this year as the medical director for ERS, and he's been with us to navigate everything having to do with how to stay safe, how to protect ourselves. So I'm looking forward to hearing your conversation Bryan with Dr. Jeff.
Bryan Reynolds [00:02:18] So I'm here this week with Dr. Jeff Shlaudecker, he Dr. Jeff is our medical director for Marjorie P. Lee and Deupree House. Welcome, Dr. Jeff. How are you?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:02:31] Bryan thanks. I'm I'm good and glad to be here and get to talk with you a little bit more about the vaccine. A hot topic.
Bryan Reynolds [00:02:39] Yeah, very, very much so. And I know there's a lot of excitement among our residents and staff, but there's a lot of questions out there among the general public and our residents and staff members. And I know you joined us last week for the first staff meeting and I appreciate you joining to maybe answer some questions, but I just want to start in our introductions and and understand your reasoning for getting it into working with older adults and joining Episcopal Retirement Services as one of our medical directors.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:03:14] Oh, sure. Glad to start off and tell my story a little bit. So I came to Cincinnati for medical school a little over 20 years ago. I love telling the medical students that I started my medical studies in the nineteen hundreds, which is is a fun piece of history. And my wife and I actually together finished medical school in 2003. I did training in family medicine and geriatrics and have really always loved older adults. I just I love the wealth of experiences getting to learn from good and bad that they've lived through. It's just an incredibly rewarding group of patients with whom to work.
Bryan Reynolds [00:04:00] Great, and you mentioned your wife and her medical background as well, and I understand she had some unique experience and research with the vaccines over the last year.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:04:11] You're right, Bryan. It has been an exciting time in our household. A geriatric nursing home medical director married to a pediatric infectious disease physician who actually is a respiratory virus researcher. She has studied with the CDC flu vaccine as the primary previous respiratory virus, big killer for the last decade. And she specifically studies vaccine safety in looking at pregnant women. And so obviously with Covid, I remember we were actually on a weekend away from our three great kids, but we were out hiking in Boulder, Colorado, and very early March and she started getting blown up. Phone calls from the CDC are really planning for the pandemic. And honestly, that was a real part of me being confident in the safety of this vaccine is that I know she has been involved in hearing about all of the potential concerns and just that she has been a real non-government, doesn't work for drug companies, but a bystander of this whole safety process for 10 months now.
Bryan Reynolds [00:05:28] Right. Right. Well, and that's great. And so knowing you understand the safety profile of the vaccine, I know you've received your first dose of the vaccine, correct?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:05:39] I did Bryan. I got my first dose on Christmas Eve Eve because I also do I predominantly worked as a hospital geriatrician for at least a decade at the Christ Hospital and and still do some coverage there. And so I was eligible to get a vaccine when they got there, Moderna shipment at the end of December. And so I got my first dose then and I get my follow up booster in about a week.
Bryan Reynolds [00:06:09] Wow, wow, that's great. And you have this rich medical background and I know you have this professional opinion of getting the vaccine. But personally, why is it so important to you to get the vaccine Bryan?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:06:22] It was so important to get the vaccine because this is a terrible time and especially for older adults. And it's not just the coming up on four hundred thousand Americans dead of covid, but tracking that from the beginning, almost a third of these deaths have been in nursing homes. And for me, the story really doesn't end there. That's really just the beginning of the heartache of the Covid pandemic in the United States.
[00:06:54] And, you know, the listeners, I think, will not be surprised at all about just the incredible emotional, physical and spiritual toll that the separation of families out of our buildings has taken on our residents and on our staff. It's just an incredibly hard time for everyone to be involved in the care of all vulnerable older adults, especially those living in nursing homes and retirement communities.
Bryan Reynolds [00:07:26] Right.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:07:27] That's not to say it hasn't been worth the attempt to to mitigate the risk and have less death. But I think it's hard to not be cognizant every day of how different it is in these communities without the interaction of visiting chaplains and friends and families and art therapists and musicians and all the rich and all the rich things that make these great places to live without them. It's a reminder every day of the toll of this pandemic. And if the vaccine is one way to bring it towards its conclusion, sign me up. And I couldn't wait.
Bryan Reynolds [00:08:12] Right. And I think you and I have this unique perspective, working with older adults and understanding how our actions and behaviors can impact them. But for the general public, what would you say to them that are maybe questioning? And we'll get into more questions about the some of the details about the vaccine. But what would you say to them about the importance of the role of the general public to get vaccinated?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:08:39] I think it's important for the general public to to become vaccinated when their time comes so that we can keep our most vulnerable people safe and so that we can get out of these restrictions that are having such a big impact on our lives. I think it's true that if if covid has not had. A huge impact on your life and the restrictions aren't keeping you from doing what you want to be doing, your part of the problem, and you're why we have to have all these restrictions. So I think what I say to to my friends and to small business owners and folks who are struggling because they haven't seen firsthand maybe the emotional toil that I have or that my wife has worn, I try to tell them some of these stories of of just heartache that this virus has brought, but also to just ask them to please do their part. And that means getting vaccinated to keep our community safe.
Bryan Reynolds [00:09:40] And well said. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. People have a lot of questions about the vaccine. I think there's a sentiment that it was created so quickly and there's some nervousness about that. But and I know I think a big reason that people are nervous are about potential side effects. What are some of the side effects that you've seen or and how can they be maybe even mitigated if possible?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:10:05] Good question about side effects, Bryan the side effects for this one so far for the two approved vaccines, the Pfizer and the Moderna are are really minimal, very, very rare. It's an intramuscular shot there has to be and something that causes the injection to the attention of your immune system. That's how vaccines work. And so to do that, there's some kind of adjuvant that stirs up some. And the way that the immune system responds to something new is just with inflammation and some irritation. And so that shot that goes into the muscle, there's going to be some some soreness or maybe some swelling, some warmth of a small group of people. It's been less than one percent are having what we call systemic. They might feel feverish or achy, but that's really been been very rare. So, again, the side effects are very small. And then I think we have we're now closing in on 10 million Americans vaccinated with these two approved vaccines now.
[00:11:13] And of those 10 million, we're still at literally a couple of handfuls of serious side effects. All those have been allergies. They've all been almost all been. And folks with real documented allergies before, they think it's related to one particular polyethylene glycol molecule in the vaccine. There have been no nobody seriously ill from this. No fatalities, no hospital admissions, nothing like that. So, again, in the landmark of approaching 10 million vaccines, this is incredibly safe and something that we have growing confidence in.
Bryan Reynolds [00:11:49] That's great to hear. And if people do maybe get a bit of a side effect, what advice would you give to them?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:11:58] You know, Bryan, my biggest advice for a small side effect, soreness in the arm at the injection site is to recognize that this is how vaccines work and to let your body do its job. Your arm is sore because that is signaling to the immune system, come make antibodies to this foreign, you know, I'll say invader in air quotes. But this this vaccine substance has been injected into the muscle. It's supposed to be sore. So my arm was sore the day after and maybe a little bit on the second day. And I was able to just remind myself if it was so sore that it would have gotten in the way of doing things I needed to do at home or at work, then I would have just taken some ibuprofen or some Tylenol. And I don't think there would be any problems. And certainly there are recommendations to go ahead and and use over the counter things to decrease inflammation.
Bryan Reynolds [00:12:56] I know this was asked at our staff meeting last week, are there any underlying conditions that are maybe more at risk for side effects or any any risks high risk groups that are at risk for more side effects?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:13:10] You know, Bryan, thus far, we haven't seen any high risk groups or people who are struggling. That includes people with chronic conditions, with immunocompromised on immuno modulating drugs or drugs that impact the immune system. It has still been tolerated extremely well in all those populations. And so right now, no, no restriction. The initial trial of fifty thousand people had a good chunk of older adults in it as well. They responded equally well with over 90 percent. Ninety five percent protection. And and right now, there are no restrictions with the little caveat that probably if someone has had a recent diagnosis of covid they've had as an actual positive test for covid, it's recommended that they consider waiting 90 days, before getting vaccinated.
[00:14:10] Definitely you don't want to be vaccinated within those first 14 days of testing positive, at least for the first 10. You're contagious. And we don't want you exposing health care workers who are doing vaccine clinics, et cetera. Right. But there's some thought that probably waiting 90 days to let your body mount its own immune response first and then secondarily to be vaccinated three months down the road.
Bryan Reynolds [00:14:35] Great. That was going to be one of my other questions about if you had covid, should you get it? So thank you for answering that. Another question by our staff last week was about other vaccines, like for for tetanus or other things. Is it would it be OK to get those near each other or are there any medications you might stay away from or might be a danger that you might have heard of?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:15:01] Right now, we are recommending the vaccine go on without any change in blood thinners, medicines that impact the immune system, there's there are not any medicines that you need to change around how you take prior to getting the vaccine. And as far as other vaccines, you know, it really just isn't known because of these trials. We did not we did not study giving the Covid vaccines with other vaccines. And so if we want to get that same response, I want a ninety five percent chance of being protected after my vaccine, then I. I want to not get in the way of that by also doing something else and having another having another vaccine. So I've seen some general writing that says just put off by two weeks and separate it from, from other vaccines.
Bryan Reynolds [00:16:01] And then I think they're also at this point, they're starting to study. You talked about your your wife has a specialty in pregnancy, but they're going to start studying pregnant women and children coming up in upcoming trials.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:16:15] Yep, that's right,.
Bryan Reynolds [00:16:16] And do you know how long that process is? Do you think that would be another three, four, six months for that?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:16:24] You know, it's it's unknown because we're going to have to to some extent, everything pregnancy related has to wait that whole gestational 40 week period. So folks who conceive the day that they get their covid vaccine and are celebrating that night and conceive a baby. We're going to have to wait some time. That's part of what makes this the novel. It's the novel part of the novel coronavirus is you just don't know. And we've got to we've got to wait.
Bryan Reynolds [00:16:53] Yeah. So one last question, Dr. Jeff. And so once a person receives the vaccine, are they protected forever or are they going to need boosters? What's the thinking on that right now?
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:17:07] How long protection lasts after the Covid vaccine is not known. As I said, that's the novel part of it. The very first trial folks were given the vaccine over the summer. So the longest we could possibly know now is six or seven months how long their protection lasts. I've read some of the experts are thinking that duration of of protection after vaccine is probably going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of two to 10 years. And so will there be booster's needed? I think we'll have to wait and see what the timing is. But the protection, we think, is certainly going to be more long lasting than after natural infection, which we thought initially was probably three months. There's some recent studies that it might be for some or even hopefully a majority of people longer than three months, as long as six or eight months. But we're hoping for even better protection than that.
Bryan Reynolds [00:18:12] Right. There's still so much to learn.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:18:16] There is. But, you know, we're we're all, I think, really heartened by studies that have shown as soon as 12 days after the vaccine, your protection starts to ramp up and really hits its peak around the time at three to four weeks after when you're due for that second booster vaccine. And so it really was. I think there's a lot of questions to it, I was I was going to say it's something that came at such great timing and earlier than anticipated and that came earlier than anticipated because. The system wasn't rushed, people just worked more and I can just attest from that, being married to one of those researchers that, you know, they had a six hour phone call on New Year's Day and they were on the phone on New Year's Eve. And that planning that level of of every weekend and every evening has been going on since April, May, getting ready for these vaccine launches.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:20] Right.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:19:21] And so that's, again, really different than bringing a disease that is not causing a pandemic and killing four thousand Americans a day.
Bryan Reynolds [00:19:33] Yeah. And it's somebody I used to work in the clinical trial industry many years ago. And I know there's no shortcuts to any of this. So I really have to applaud your wife and so many people that have worked so hard through this whole process.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:19:48] Me too, and you know that thanks goes to all of our ERS staff at every level of the organization. It's a real honor to work at their side in such a hard time. And it's part of why it was important to do my part and get vaccinated, to keep them safe, to keep their parents and their children safe. I think this is something that we do for each other.
Bryan Reynolds [00:20:15] Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for your leadership and thank you so much for joining us this week. And we'll have to look forward to getting together here in the near future to catch up.
Dr. Jeff Shaudecker [00:20:27] I will look forward to it, Bryan. Thanks for your time and interest and thanks for listeners.
Kristin Davenport [00:20:35] Bryan, Dr. Jeff is such a great authority on this vaccine, he really alleviated any fears that I might have and I hope any that our listeners might have.
Bryan Reynolds [00:20:46] Yeah, I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Jeff, so passionate about our our residents and and our staff and and, you know, he's got a unique viewpoint, not only as our medical director and serving older adults who are most vulnerable to covid, but also with his wife's background and experience and in researching this vaccine. So he was really, I think, a perfect guest to kind of help spread some some great knowledge about the vaccine and how safe it is and how much good it's going to do.
Kristin Davenport [00:21:22] Absolutely, and having that resource that is an authority and can be trusted is so important at this time to have that as part of our leadership here. Well, speaking of leadership, I'm excited to hear what you and our president and CEO Laura Lamb have to talk about this.
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:50] So we're back now in a new year with president and CEO Laura Lamb. Hi, Laura, how are you?
Laura Lamb [00:21:56] Hi, Bryan. How are you doing?
Bryan Reynolds [00:21:58] Good. Happy New Year. Hope you had a good holiday and a great, great New Year's celebration.
Laura Lamb [00:22:04] I sure did. The name of the game was quiet. Just the way I like it.
Bryan Reynolds [00:22:08] Exactly. Exactly. Just it was just myself, the wife and the kids this year. But nice nonetheless.
Laura Lamb [00:22:18] Absolutely.
Bryan Reynolds [00:22:19] Well, I thought I'd start this week. Our theme has been kind of on the vaccination. And and I thought with you being here, we would just check in to see where we were on our communities and the vaccination process.
Laura Lamb [00:22:38] Great Bryan, yes, we've made a lot of headway since the last time you and I chatted, though, as you know, our retirement communities are in the top priorities of getting the vaccine from the government and we're so, so excited about that. But there's been a lot of a lot of time and space between when our communities are vaccinated. So as you know, Episcopal Church Home in Louisville had their first vaccination clinic in right before actually Christmas on December. Twenty third. And that was so exciting. And so that set you up into a three week cycle because the wiser vaccine is the vaccine that the states are providing to retirement communities. And that is a two dose vaccine that needs to be administered three weeks apart. So then next up was Deupree house and cottages and their first vaccine was right after the first of the year, right. Last Tuesday. And we had really great attendance and a lot of enthusiasm for that.
[00:23:52] And then then we kept waiting and waiting and waiting for Marjorie P. Lee and thought we kept looking at our email. We contacted leading age Ohio. We even contacted the governor's office because, again, our other two communities already had dates. So the good news is that Marjorie Lee's first clinic is this Thursday. So we're so excited because that means each one of our retirement communities are in process and will be vaccinated soon.
Bryan Reynolds [00:24:26] Well, that's that's wonderful. And I think a second date coming up soon as well.
Laura Lamb [00:24:32] Correct. This Wednesday is their Merc's. There are three weeks since the first vaccine. So. Wow, that's wonderful.
Bryan Reynolds [00:24:38] Yeah, that's great. And you mentioned a lot of enthusiasm. How is the vaccine been received by the staff and our and our residents so far?
Laura Lamb [00:24:49] Well, I tell you, it's been my privilege to be on site. I was on site last Tuesday at the Deupree vaccination clinic. And the you could feel the enthusiasm. You could feel the excitement. And Beverly Edwards, I think, said it best. Before her vaccination clinic. We did a prayer service with our bishop, Bishop White came onsite and blessed our clinic. And Beverly, in her remarks said that this is this is an important day. This is a day that we as residents and staff can fight back against this terrible, terrible disease. And that's how I that's how I think many of us feel. It's something tangible, something to help us. It's something to help society, because we've all know this concept called herd immunity, which means lots of us need to take it, not just one of us. So that was really fun to be a part of that excitement and enthusiasm.
Bryan Reynolds [00:25:56] That's great. That's great. And and I know there's there's been some hesitancy out in the general public and even been some reported among health care workers. But you've created an initiative for our our staff and for the public and for residents called the Why Campaign, I guess. And can you talk a little bit about what that is? And and and I guess why you started doing it?
Laura Lamb [00:26:27] Hahaha, that's funny! Why did I do the Why? Thank you for asking. You know, it just started like right after our clinic. It just became clear to me that everybody had access to different information. And I feel so fortunate in some regards. I've been living, breathing. The coronavirus, so I feel like on the scale of access to information, I have a lot of information. And as I was talking to people that were hesitant about taking the vaccine, they they didn't have all the information that they needed to have an informed decision.
Bryan Reynolds [00:27:19] Yeah.
Laura Lamb [00:27:20] So so it was in that how can we get how can we educate people that that came up? And so it's really twofold. It's one, making sure that people have the science, have the data, understand the vaccine and what it can and can't do and what the side effects are and that sort of thing. The other is just understanding how other our peers are making their decisions and sharing that with people, because, again, we only know what we know. And, you know, your experience helps inform my experience and helps me learn more.
[00:28:04] So if I hear why you're taking it, you know that that may cause me to think about something, maybe do some research and maybe make a different decision that I would have then I would have had if I didn't have your information. So the videos are from our staff, from all across section of the organization, just answering the question, what is your why? Why are you taking the vaccine?
Bryan Reynolds [00:28:34] Yeah. Well, and I think, you know, it really puts it in a nice framework for people to understand those kind of diverse reasons and then, as you talked about, have some facts as well. And I know last week you won one of the medical directors within ERS. Dr. Jeff spoke with our staff, and that that seemed to be very helpful for a lot of employees to understand as well.
Laura Lamb [00:29:02] He did a great job, didn't he? And I think he's going to be a guest on our podcast. Yes, he's wonderful and just just rooted in in science and data and very easy to talk with and to. And the staff really appreciated him taking the time. We were on the call for more than an hour and asking or answering all the questions that the staff had.
Bryan Reynolds [00:29:27] Right. And they were great questions. Great questions.
Laura Lamb [00:29:30] For sure.
Bryan Reynolds [00:29:33] Well, and I think, you know, at some point we're going to put all these videos up on our website, if people visit our coronavirus page, we'll have a link to all the videos of, you know, why people are choosing to to vaccinate, which is, you know, I'm I'm glad that we're doing that, Bryan, because I'll tell you, the videos are so powerful, like you said. And what I what I enjoy about them, too, is just the different perspective to hear Beverly talk about. She's doing it because of the people that she loves. And Joy Blang, who has both of her parents live in our communities and one, unfortunately, has passed away her mother this recently to hear her just very personal and passionate plea. Just I don't know how you can hear or see the videos and not at least think about. How many different why's there are that you might want to consider it.
Bryan Reynolds [00:30:37] Right, right. And I know you had an opportunity to get vaccinated at Deupree House. So what can I ask what your why is?
Laura Lamb [00:30:47] Oh, yeah, Bryan very similar. So, you know, here I am, a biology nerd, you know. You know, I, I, I can limit my exposure more than others, but I'm doing it because I want to be a part of something more than my health and the health of my family. I want to do it for our residents that, you know, haven't some of our residents haven't hugged their loved ones since March 16.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:23] Right.
Laura Lamb [00:31:24] So if if I can be a part, I want to be a part of that herd Bryan. Right. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. And if taking the vaccine helps our society open up one day earlier and I'm all in. Yeah, I'm all in.
Bryan Reynolds [00:31:42] Yeah, I think I feel the same way that if I can be a part of the solution and get us one day closer to having everybody see their loved ones and be with their loved ones again, that that sounds like a really happy day to me.
Laura Lamb [00:31:58] Amen. Amen.
Bryan Reynolds [00:32:00] Well, Laura, thank you so much for joining us again in a new year, and we'll really look forward to many more of these conversations here in 2021.
Laura Lamb [00:32:11] Great Bryan. Thank you for your time.
Kristin Davenport [00:32:17] Bryan, it was so good to hear from Laura, all the things that are happening to support our efforts to spread the word that the vaccine is not only safe, but important to protect all of our residents.
Bryan Reynolds [00:32:30] You know, it's a great way to start off the new year, I think, with some some good news about the vaccine and our residents and our staff getting vaccinated and so provided that great update. But, you know, more importantly, just convincing the public that it's so important for us all to get vaccinated so that we can really take care of the people that we serve day in, day out and hopefully get back to normal as quickly as possible.
Kristin Davenport [00:32:59] Absolutely, and definitely that's the goal is to to get it to the point where we can be safe doing some of the things that we were doing, although I know for it's going to be a while. So we get back to the way things were.
Bryan Reynolds [00:33:12] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Several months. But we'll we'll get there a little by little. And I know the residents are really excited and so is our staff. Well, that's it for our latest episode of the Linkage podcast by Episcopal Retirement Services, our first episode of 2021. What a great way to start. For more information about us, you can visit our website at Episcopalretirement.com. We have a lot of great content, including our Linkage online blog resources to learn more about aging and the services we offer and so much more. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to see what's going on within ERS and our communities. If you have any questions or feedback for us, please email us at info at ERS Life. The Linkage podcast is produced by Kristin Davenport and Bryan Reynolds. Feoshia Davis is our associate producer and our technical director is Michelle Hoehn. I'd like to thank our guests, Dr. Jeff, today and in a special thank you for our president and CEO Laura Lamb for always being available to provide an update on behalf of myself, Bryan Reynolds and Kristin Davenport. Thank you so much for joining us. And we look forward to joining you, joining us for our podcast next week.
Kristin Davenport [00:34:31] Thanks so much, Kristen Bryan great first episode. I'm looking forward to many more this year.