Published on October 7, 2021
Read Time: Three Minutes
For Mara Hofherr, PharmD, RPh, a Phelps Health oncology clinical pharmacist, the decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine was easy.
“My partner has an autoimmune disease, [which puts] her at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19,” said Hofherr, who works with the oral chemotherapy program at the Phelps Health Delbert Day Cancer Institute. “Getting vaccinated was an easy choice to not only protect the people that I see every single day [at work] but to protect her.”
Hofherr is one of dozens of employees at Phelps Health who are winners of a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program that began in late July 2021.
Through the rewards program, employees who got the vaccine are entered into a drawing to win prizes. After the incentives were announced, the percentage of employees who received the vaccine increased by nearly 16%.
Trang Dang, PharmD, an Epic analyst at Phelps Health, is an employee vaccine lottery winner, too. She also decided to be vaccinated for her loved ones.
"I got the COVID-19 vaccine to protect my family. I have older parents and younger cousins,” she said. “I don't want to pass COVID-19 on to others.”
Before working at Phelps Health, Dang cared for COVID-19 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at another hospital. She has seen what the disease has done to patients.
Hofherr has seen the effects of COVID-19, as well.
“I work in healthcare, [so] I have a different kind of perspective on the importance of vaccination because I get to see both sides,” she said. “I get to see the societal impact of people being vaccinated. However, I do unfortunately have to see what happens when people are not vaccinated, and they do get severe COVID-19.”
Like Hofherr, Dang said she got the shot when she became eligible.
“Vaccination has always been important in healthcare,” Dang said. “Throughout the history of vaccines, they have eradicated diseases.”
Debbie Grommet, a dietary aide with Food Services at Phelps Health, agrees with Dang.
“They've been making vaccines for 100 years, and I believe that the science is good,” she said. “I believe that they [scientists and researchers] have done their due diligence.”
Grommet said one reason she chose to be vaccinated was her age.
“I was 65 years old [when I got the vaccine], and the virus isn’t kind to people in my age bracket,” she said.
If somebody is on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Grommet said she tells people that getting COVID-19 is not worth the risk.
“The shot is much safer than the risk of getting the virus,” Grommet said, adding that she believes the vaccine is safe and effective.
Dang said if people are unsure about the COVID-19 vaccines, she recommends people do their own research from trustworthy sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“I decided for myself after I looked at the clinical trials and interpreted the data,” Dang said.
All three employees urged those who were not vaccinated yet to think about others -- neighbors, coworkers, family and friends.
“It's so important just to protect the ones that are around you, and the ones that you love, from COVID-19,” Hofherr said.
COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe and Effective
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.