Coronavirus disease 2019 - COVID-19 vaccine

Public Awareness Campaign Aims to Move the Needle on Vaccine Hesitancy

Many in our community have questions regarding the safety, efficacy, and necessity of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. A local coalition of healthcare leaders is stepping forward together to help answer these questions and demonstrate that for an overwhelming majority of people, the COVID-19 vaccines are a safe, critical element to ending the pandemic. If we all pitch in and get our shots, it will help us to be able to safely and comfortably get back together with our family and friends, go to work together, and resume our travel and recreation to the fullest, while not endangering those around us.

It is normal to have doubts or to be worried about whether you should get the vaccine or allow your children to be vaccinated.

Addressing your concerns with your primary care physician or reaching out to local healthcare organizations are great ways to learn more about the effectiveness and safety.

For example, development of the various COVID-19 vaccines did not occur as quickly as it might seem. Extensive clinical trials and knowledge from years of developing similar vaccines demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA is not an indication that the vaccines are questionable, but rather that data collected from trials along with years of development of other vaccines similar to the COVID vaccine indicate that the benefits of it far outweigh the risks. Consequently, the FDA will soon be granting full authorization.

There is also confusion surrounding vaccine safety and fertility, due to a false report that circulated on social media. There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with fertility or pregnancy, and if you are or trying to become pregnant, that does not prevent you from becoming vaccinated.

If you know or suspect that you may have already contracted COVID-19, that does not prevent you from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Science cannot currently say if or for how long people are protected from getting COVID-19 after they have had it, however, evidence suggests this natural immunity might not last long. Reinfection is still possible, as are the adverse effects from being sick with COVID-19.

Another misconception is that COVID-19 vaccines can change your DNA. The messenger RNA from two of the first types of COVID-19 vaccines do not enter the nucleus of the cells where DNA resides. The mRNA causes the cell to make protein and stimulate the immune system, and then it quickly breaks down — without affecting your DNA.

The bottom line is this: getting vaccinated helps protect you and others around you, particularly those who may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The more of us who are vaccinated means the faster we reach population immunity, which makes it more difficult for the disease to spread and protects those who cannot be vaccinated, such as infants and people who are allergic to the vaccine.

As of May 24, 2021, the vaccination rate in Collier County for those 65 years and older is 87% (one or more doses) and for those 12 years and older is 59% (one or more doses). The goal is to get as many people as possible vaccinated in our community and reach a minimum of 80% to fully avoid another rise in COVID cases.

This has been a significant uphill battle, and this is the time to be cautiously optimistic about our future, so we can keep on track with the positive direction in which we’ve been moving: reopening our community and getting back to socialization, fully opening schools and getting back to normal again.

Remember it all starts with you! Take the next big step in ending this pandemic by receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.

Do your part and help crush COVID-19 in Collier. To find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you, visit,,, or Additionally, you can also text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a vaccine location near you.


Rebekah Bernard, MD, President, Collier County Medical Society Board of Directors
Kim Kossler, MPH, RN, CPH, Administrator, Department of Health–Collier County
Emily Ptaszek, PsyD, MBA, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Network
Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Millennium Physician Group
Kristin Mascotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NCH Healthcare System
Min Chung Kim, MD, Medical Director, Neighborhood Health Clinic


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Offices Closed 12.9.23

All Healthcare Network offices will be closed on Saturday, December 9. Normal hours will resume on Monday, December 11.


Todas las oficinas de Healthcare Network estarán cerradas el sábado 9 de diciembre. El horario normal se reanudará el lunes 11 de diciembre.


Tout biwo Healthcare Network yo ap fèmen samdi 9 desanm. Lè nòmal yo ap rekòmanse lendi 11 desanm.

Offices Closed 11.23 & 11.24.23

All Healthcare Network offices will be closed on Thursday, November 23 & Friday, November 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal hours will resume on Monday, November 27.


Todas las oficinas de Healthcare Network estarán cerradas el jueves 23 y viernes 24 de noviembre en conmemoración del feriado de Acción de Gracias. El horario normal se reanudará el lunes 27 de noviembre.


Tout biwo Rezo Swen Sante yo ap fèmen jedi 23 novanm ak vandredi 24 novanm nan jou fèt Thanksgiving. Orè nòmal yo pral rekòmanse lendi 27 novanm.

Help Us Grow a Healthier Community from the Ground Up!

Help Us Grow a Healthier Community from the Ground Up!
A year-end gift in support of this exciting new health center will help us provide an abundance of essential healthcare to the Orangetree community, helping cultivate a healthy thriving community!

¡Ayúdenos a desarrollar una comunidad más saludable desde cero!

¡Ayúdenos a desarrollar una comunidad más saludable desde cero! ¡Una donación de fin de año a Healthcare Network en apoyo de este nuevo y emocionante centro de salud nos ayudará a brindar abundante atención médica esencial a Orangetree, cultivando una comunidad saludable y próspera!

Ede nou devlope yon kominote ki pi an sante apati de tè a!

Ede nou devlope yon kominote ki pi an sante apati de tè a! Yon kado nan fen ane pou sipòte nouvo sant sante enteresan sa a pral ede nou bay Orangetree yon abondans swen sante esansyèl, pou kiltive yon kominote ki an sante ak pwospere!