COVID-19 vaccination among healthcare professionals is an important, newsworthy issue that should be reported. However, I am concerned about how the public will interpret information in articles such as the one I recently read, titled, “A longtime nurse in Lewiston vows to quit her job rather than get the shot.”

One person interviewed in that article is a licensed practical nurse (LPN), not a registered nurse (RN), and she said that she expects to go to the funerals of family members who received the COVID-19 vaccine. Let us have a science-based, data-driven reality check: 0.0019% of people who received a COVID-19 vaccine died after receiving a shot, there is no causal relationship established, these numbers are required to be reported, and the deaths are likely the result of other disease processes.

Another person referred to as a “nurse” in the article, actually a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA), refers to the vaccine as “poison,” but she clearly does not access peer-reviewed clinical information in her decision making, as evidenced by the interviewed CNA stating she gets her vaccine information from YouTube.

I want to reassure the public that the vast majority of physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, and RNs recognize that COVID-19 vaccination is very safe, effective, and important to preventing transmission to our vulnerable patients. We also feel reassured knowing that even if we do contract a breakthrough COVID-19 infection at work, we will not die or become critically ill.

In the future please do not refer to CNAs, LPNs, and RNs collectively as “nurses” as this is incorrect and potentially confusing for the public. The job responsibilities and educational preparation are vastly different. People speaking in a professional capacity need to seek out the clinical trial data and engage in critical thinking before opening their mouths and endangering nursing’s status as the most trusted profession in the United States.

Tom Vatistas, MSN, RN


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