Give it a shot – Haley Hurst brings vaccines and information to The Hill

Haley Hurst administers a vaccine to a C-SC student.

Quentin Wells

Haley Hurst administers a vaccine to a C-SC student.

Haley Hurst, Doctor of Pharmacy and CDCES at Hannibal Regional Hospital came to campus to administer vaccines, and provide accurate information about the shots and getting your jab on Monday, September 20. Administering vaccines in a clinic held in the basement of the Crown Center, Hurst offered the vaccines from Moderna from 1:00p.m.-3:00p.m. and Pfizer from 3:30-5:30 p.m.. At 6:00p.m. Hurst held an ACE presentation in Meaders Lounge, giving information on the history of vaccines and the specifics of how Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines work.

With a presentation in five points, Hurst sought to review the history of immunization, charting it from cowpox to COVID, help the audience to understand how vaccines work, discuss the COVID immunizations currently available, demonstrate their safety and efficacy, and differentiate between fact and myth in regards to the vaccines. Hurst laid out a timeline that stretched from the integration of vaccines (derived from vaccinia, Latin for cowpox) into western medicine to mRNA’s conception in the 1960s and implementation in the ’90s, and its use in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines today. Though, it should be noted, the timeline did leave out recently prominent examples of the usage of immunizations, such as an example in America that predates Edward Jenner’s usage and more clearly demonstrates the true depth of their usage in global medicine.

Giving the basic timeline on applying dosages of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, the three vaccines widely available in the U.S., Hurst highlighted their efficacy, with specific emphasis on the fact that Pfizer and Moderna eliminate an average of over 90% of hospitalizations, with Johnson & Johnson eliminating over 70% in vaccinated people. The mRNA vaccines reduce the risk of death by around 98%, while Johnson & Johnson offers 95% protection. Reporting on Hannibal Regional’s COVID cases, Hurst showed an infographic of hospitalizations from June 26 to August 15 of this year, with 144 of the 171 hospitalized being unvaccinated, and 28 of the 32 ICU patients with COVID being unvaccinated.

Hurst also did some mythbusting, laying out important facts, such as the volatility of one’s immune response following an infection with the condition, which is so inconsistent between people that even if you’ve already been infected, it’s much safer to get the vaccine. In addition, pregnant women are encouraged to get it, as the antibodies that the vaccine cultivates can be passed to the child during pregnancy, or through the consumption of breast milk, giving an immunity otherwise unavailable to children in that age range. Wrapping up the presentation, Hurst urged the attendees to “not throw away their shot,” in tribute to Hamilton‘s motif, urging students to pay attention to the dramatic decrease in mortality that getting the jab offers.

The clinic and presentation follow hot on the heels of the news that the death toll of the COVID pandemic has surpassed that of the 1917-18 Spanish Flu pandemic, and furthermore on the Wildcat Wire’s own reporting on the state of the pandemic on campus.