While the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to surge amid the unvaccinated population, Dr. Dexter Arrington, obstetrician/gynecologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, recently addressed the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, especially in minority communities.
During a videotaped interview with Joliet entrepreneur Coffe Summers of the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc., Joliet Chapter, Dr. Arrington addressed issues regarding the vaccine and fertility, and why younger adults should consider getting the vaccine if they haven’t already. The video is available for viewing on the hospital’s YouTube channel.
Although not an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Arrington said he has found the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and does not affect a woman’s ability to have a baby or to deliver a healthy one.
According to Dr. Arrington, “In my practice, we follow the advice of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and their recommendation is that pregnant women can receive the vaccination. And it should not be withheld from women considering pregnancy, nor should a pregnancy test be required.
I have treated several women who had the vaccination during pregnancy, and their pregnancies have gone on to be very healthy.”
When asked if people with autoimmune diseases should receive the vaccine, Dr. Arrington said those cases should be evaluated individually, depending on the type of disease, their health status, and the type of medications they are taking.
“That’s something each patient needs to discuss with their provider,” said Dr. Arrington, which all people still considering the vaccine are encouraged to do.
Addressing reluctance by those ages 25 to 35, Dr. Arrington stated, “We all were young once. You think you’re invincible. I’ve heard many young individuals say, ˜Well, I’m young, I’m healthy, I’ll be fine.”
While that may be the case, Dr. Arrington said there still could be long-term effects for those who don’t know they have the virus. Not only could it cause major problems for them, but they could pass it on to others.
“It’s not all about you; it’s about the people you love,” he said. “You may be fine. But are you okay with your mother getting it, or your grandmother getting it, who may have diabetes or hypertension, or may be obese, who may not be able to fight the virus and may actually succumb to the virus? It’s more about those who you love and doing the right thing.”
Dr. Arrington admits there are some people who may not change their minds about the COVID-19 vaccine. But he believes it’s important to talk about it and to lead by example.
“There are essential workers who don’t have the luxury of working from home. There are those who need to take public transportation. We are exposed all the time. If the numbers start to increase, we will see it in Black and brown communities unless they get the vaccination,” he added.
Dr. Arrington went on to explain, “Those issues, along with a lack of insurance in those communities, lead to a disproportionate number of people in the minority communities not vaccinated and, thus, carrying the virus.”
Since the pandemic arrived in Will County more than 16 months ago, Silver Cross has performed more than 74,500 COVID-19 tests, treated over 2,500 COVID-19 inpatients, and distributed more than 33,000 COVID-19 vaccines.
For more information or a referral to a physician on the Silver Cross medical staff, visit www.silvercross.org
To find a COVID-19 vaccination clinic near you, visit willcountyhealth.org/vaccine-locations/.