Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt
Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt

Guest Columnist

It’s been 19 months since the pandemic started and I know that times have been tough. Not being able to spend time with family and friends, missing your favorite workout class or even having to limit the places that you’ve visited.

When vaccines became available for District residents over the age of 65 in January, you led the way, setting an extraordinary example for others to follow. You showed everyone that getting vaccinated was the right thing to do for you, your loved ones, and your community. You were shining stars and today over 80% of you are fully vaccinated. We still have more work to do, and I know I can count on each of you to continue to be great role models and ambassadors of the COVID-19 vaccines and other practices that will keep us safe.

If you haven’t received a vaccination, consider getting one today. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and are the best way to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. There are over 150 locations in the city where you can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You or your family can visit vaccines.gov to find the location nearest you and make a plan to get your vaccine at a time that is convenient. If you prefer to get your vaccine in your home, call us at 1-855-363-0333 and we will come to you! If you’re vaccinated, call someone who is not vaccinated and encourage them to do so.

If it’s been a while since you’ve received your second dose of the vaccine and you want to be ready for your booster, start making your plan. Find your vaccine card, call your healthcare provider to discuss your options for a booster or visit vaccines.gov to find a location near you. If you need support, you can call 1-855-363-0333.

Last, but not least, flu season is upon us and to ensure that you have protection against the flu this year, get your flu shot. The COVID vaccine does not protect you against flu and the flu vaccine does not protect you against COVID. There were record low numbers of flu cases nationally and in the District in 2020… and we want to keep it that way. So, do all you can today so you can continue to have small family dinners, storytime with the grandkids and fellowship with neighbors and friends. Whenever you leave home, remember to take your mask with you and wear it.

Carry plenty of hand sanitizer and continue to wash or sanitize your hands often to avoid the spread of germs. I’ve missed spending time with D.C. residents at all of the special events, festivals, and celebrations that make us who we are as a city. So let’s do all we can, together, to end this pandemic and reconnect in new and meaningful ways.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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