On April 14, 2021, our Health Promotion Clinical Director Dr. Leah Ederer hosted a webinar with the SOWI community to help them learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.
27 knowledge-seeking attendees learned a variety of information like how to prevent getting COVID-19, what the symptoms of the virus are, and how important the vaccine is in keeping people safe.
“I would recommend this vaccine to everyone regardless of their medical history or reaction to prior vaccines.” – Dr. Leah Ederer, Health Promotion Clinical Director
The athletes and other participants also posed great questions for Dr. Ederer, and some who had already received the vaccine even shared their own experiences with it. “I was very happy with the athletes’ engagement and I think they asked very good and interesting questions,” Dr. Ederer said.
COVID-19 and people with disabilities
According to the CDC, people with disabilities have a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19, especially if they are overweight or have underlying conditions like diabetes or heart disease. People with intellectual disabilities are three times more likely to die from the virus than people without intellectual disabilities.
In light of all of this, Dr. Ederer is hopeful that reluctant athletes might reconsider the vaccine.
We, Not Me
“My goal is to have changed at least one person’s mind so they get vaccinated to protect themselves and their community,” Dr. Ederer said. “I hope I communicated the ‘We, Not Me’ philosophy of helping each other.”
Part of achieving that goal for Dr. Ederer was combatting misinformation about the vaccine, including misconceptions about lingering side effects.
“There is a lot of concern about what the long-term side effects from the vaccine will be. Based on everything we know from all of the past vaccines, COVID and otherwise, side effects happen in the first six weeks,” Dr. Ederer said. “It would be VERY rare for someone to develop symptoms after six weeks that can be correlated to a vaccine.”
Several athletes supported this idea during the webinar by sharing their own positive experiences with the vaccine and relaying the limited side effects they encountered. “The vaccine that I had, I didn’t have any problems with it. I just had maybe a little stiffness with it for about the first hour or so and then it went away. So that’s a good thing,” one athlete shared during the webinar.
The vaccine is for everyone
Ultimately, Dr. Ederer is hopeful that her presentation and the sharing of stories by athletes increases confidence that the vaccine is for everyone.
“Sometimes there are questions about if the vaccine would be okay for a certain individual or someone with certain symptoms or a specific disorder or disease,” Dr. Ederer said. “I would recommend this vaccine to everyone regardless of their medical history or reaction to prior vaccines.”