Research gave her the confidence to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Advocate Aurora Health’s Sharon Reams-Henry, director of Business Operation for Continuing Health, says she can empathize with some people who are still feeling skeptical about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Given her own African American roots, she can understand why some fears continue to exist due to past, racist health care practices and policies. She can also understand how mixed messages on social and other media may create more confusion about the vaccine than confidence.
But when the COVID-19 vaccine became available to Advocate Aurora Health team members last December, Reams-Henry was one of the first in line to get her shot.
“I did not hesitate. Not only did I get the first available appointment, I drove from the far south suburbs to Lake Zurich to get it,” she said.
Reams-Henry — who completed a doctor of nursing practice degree in May 2021 — said she felt confident getting the vaccine because she did her research. She started following the spread of COVID-19 and the progression of research from the time the virus emerged.
“I knew eventually it was going to come around to there being a vaccine … that caused me to do a little research,” she said, adding that she feels it’s her responsibility to identify credible sources and stay abreast of the latest COVID-19 research.
Reams-Henry said she felt confident getting the vaccine because she trusts its safety. At the time, the FDA Emergency Authorization Use approval assured the vaccine is safe. Now she encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they can.
“Full FDA approval is a formality. Just like with aspirin or Tylenol, any medication you take goes through the same FDA approval process,” Reams-Henry explained. “They authorized the vaccine for emergency use because the need is emergent. Lives are at stake.”
About the Author
Cassie Richardson, health enews contributor, is regional coordinator on the Public Affairs team for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She has more than 10 years of experience in health care communications, marketing, media and public relations. Cassie is a fan of musical theater and movies. When she’s not spreading the word about health and wellness advancements, she enjoys writing fiction.