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Vaccine Hesitancy

Everyone I know, both patients and friends, have rushed to get the Covid vaccine as soon as they could. I've had more phone calls and texts about "how to get it" then I could handle. But I know I am in a bubble when I view this CDC graphic that shows where vaccine hesitancy exists in the USA. A deep dive shows that many of the areas of vaccine hesitancy are also the most vulnerable as defined by access to transportation, vehicle access, health care, secure employment, childcare and affordable housing. In other words, the people who fare the worst if they contract Covid.

We have a number of vaccines (including J&J that was just re-certified by the FDA) that have been administered over a billion times across the globe with extremely low incidence of adverse events. It has been deemed safe for pregnant women and so far 28% of Americans have been vaccinated with NO DEATHS FROM THE VACCINE.

But that number is still too low. Heres why:

  • Getting the vaccine protects you from getting sick. It is extremely rare (not impossible) to get Covid after receiving the vaccine and those cases are mild. The vaccine may save your life.

  • More people vaccinated means quicker return to"normal". If we would have used masks and social distanced, hundreds of thousands of people would be alive today and we would not need economy shut-downs. Isn't it time to finally listen to health professionals?

  • The vaccine is safe. There has been careful testing, extreme monitoring for adverse affects and over a billion doses administered. Enough said!

  • It even helps people who have already had Covid-19. People who have experienced prolonged symptoms of Covid (long-haulers, long Covid) have responded to the vaccine and their symptoms improved. The immune response is enhanced even if a person had Covid infection.

  • Waiting too long or avoiding the vaccine keeps the virus alive in the community. I'm not only worried about the delay in the USA but also the vaccine shortage across the globe. I have medical contacts in India and the situation there is dire. The only way to lessen infection is to get as much of the world population vaccinated as fast as possible.

  • Ignorance and Fear are deadly. The vaccines simply stimulate an immune response and then they are gone. They do not stay in your body. They do not cause miscarriages. They do not contain toxins. The vaccine works against the variants we hear about. We are not even close to "herd immunity". We are still having over 723 Covid deaths a day.

  • Over 40,000 children have lost a parent to Covid-19 in the USA.

I will admit that I suffer from "needle phobia". So I get that delay. If you hate shots, like I do, just get over it. If you know anyone who is vaccine hesitant, please share this with them.


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