TREASURE VALLEY, Idaho — As Idaho hospitals remain on the verge of enacting crisis standards of care, a local nurse practitioner is doing his part to increase the number of vaccinated Idahoans. Brad Bigford, a nurse practitioner and the owner of Table Rock Mobile Medicine, first offered on Twitter to talk with anyone who's vaccine-hesitant.
This offer goes out to anyone in the Treasure Valley community that wants to talk who is vaccine hesitant. Have a family or coworker that has questions? Have them call me. https://t.co/tqC1FsaAKJ— Brad Bigford, MSN, APRN, NP-C, CCHP (@mursebigford) August 4, 2021
He takes a personalized approach and says about 50% of the people he's talked with go on and get vaccinated.
“I can throw as many stats and scientific facts, but if I never address their fears, then I’ll never get them to agree,” Bigford said.
He said one of the most common concerns he hears from people is that we don’t know the long-term side effects of the vaccine. Instead, he recommends Idahoans focus on the current risk of catching COVID-19.
“You have to weigh the risks of the vaccine to the risk of the virus and when you do that it’s not even close,” Bigford said. “COVID causes blood clots, it causes heart attacks and strokes, it causes scarring of your lungs. That’s a long-term consequence.”
He said many people are overwhelmed by misinformation or opinions from several sources.
“When you take the opinions of like a Facebook comments section and the opinions of an expert, some people give those both equal weight and we shouldn’t be doing that.”
Bigford said it usually takes him 45 minutes to an hour to address people's concerns, time the average primary care doctor doesn’t have.
“We need to figure out some way to speak to these people on a larger scale because our vaccine rates in Idaho are so low that we’re never going to achieve any type of normalcy with the way things are going,” he said.
Anyone who has questions or concerns and would like to talk with Bigford can reach him at his cell phone number, (208) 991-3232.