They answer healthcare staff’s questions about the vaccine

Christian Chalma, ST physician in emergency care, and Donna Petra Touma, MD, specialist in emergency care, with a poster she painted herself for the lecture. Photo: Private

Before the vaccine was ready, many people were positive and wondered when it would come, says Christian Chalma, an STD doctor in emergency care in Södertälje.

But then my colleague Donna Petra Touma and I realized that there were many questions about vaccination; If you must get the vaccine if you already have the virus, how can the vaccine develop so quickly, or what are the risks of narcolepsy.

Questions were with all employee groups. The two doctors compiled information from the Medicines Agency and studies of vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer, among others. Then they lectured to colleagues in the emergency department, and other parts of the hospital soon became interested.

It was greatly appreciated and noted that the departments and other activities in the hospital wanted to participate in the lecture. Christian Chalma says they also experienced the same vaccine uncertainty there and adds:

We want to communicate to our employees that vaccination is completely voluntary. Our aim with the lectures is to give employees the opportunity to make their own decisions based on science and validated information. Because there is a lot of other things circulating on social media and online.

The Stockholm region is one of the areas in the country where healthcare personnel have been vaccinated in some priority activities. Last weekend, about 6,500 doses were sent to hospitals, where management had to decide who should be vaccinated.

For five days, for example, 1,300 employees of Perioperative and Intensive Care Medicine (PMI) were vaccinated at Karolinska University Hospital. Vaccination begins this week with a second dose.

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Only a small number of those offered the vaccine refused. Many of them have changed since then and will be vaccinated, says Andreas Lilliquist, director of the Department of Thoracic Intensive Care and Thoracic Surgery, who had a coordinating role for vaccination at PMI.

Andreas Leliquist, director of the Department of Thoracic Intensive Care at Karolinska University Hospital, was the first team to be vaccinated. Photo: Paulina Lundberg

But he also felt that there was great anxiety and some suspicion in the staff before the vaccination. For example, there was a fear of a hypersensitivity reaction. Then Andreas Leliquist chose to be vaccinated as the first in the cast.

– My own estimation is that 25-30 percent of employees have expressed concern about getting vaccinated. Then I chose to get vaccinated first to prove that I believed in this and that it was safe. Indeed, it was important for employees to keep up with it.

Also in other hospitals in Stockholm, in principle, all the employees presented want to be vaccinated. »The interest in immunization is great. What is limited now is the availability of vaccines. We feed all our vaccinations, ”chief physician Eva Ostblum wrote to Läkartidningen.

Desire for vaccination among healthcare staff was also high in Skåne, says Per Hagstam, infection control physician and vaccination coordinator. But he also notes that the first to get vaccinated are those who have been severely affected by the epidemic, so this can be expected.

Stockholm Vaccination Coordinator, Magnus Thyberg, has shown great interest in vaccination in healthcare. However, after the delays in deliveries from Pfizer, hospitals had to give extra priority as to which staff should get the doses first.

In the near future, there will be a new, very limited vaccination for healthcare workers. We focus on prioritizing the second dose so you get full protection, he says.

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At Södertälje Hospital, the Communications Department planned to shoot the lecture by Christian Chalma and Donna Petra Touma. The idea is that it will be available on the internal web and in the long term also on the site for the public.

Christian Chalma believes, however, that the information in society at large, as well as in healthcare, could have been a little better.

If you know how to sort, there is a lot of information. On the other hand, I think many people, especially in the community, need to provide information. My spontaneous feeling is that it should have come a little more from the top.

La Cartdingen 4-5/2021
(Updated 2021-01-28)

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