They Havent Gotten A Covid Vaccine Yet But They Arent Hesitant Either
Much has been said about people opposed to or skeptical of coronavirus vaccines. But theres another group that has yet to get shots, and their reasons are more complex.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this article
- Read in app
By Amy Harmon and Josh Holder
It had been weeks since Acy Grayson III, owner of Let It Shine, a home improvement outfit he runs out of his own home in the suburbs of Cleveland, had vowed to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Appointments were available.
But Mr. Grayson, who never knows how long a job will take or when a new one will come along, had found it hard to commit to a time and a place. The mass vaccination site where appointments were not required was off his beaten path. He did not know that a nearby church, Lee Road Baptist, had been dispensing vaccines on Fridays but the truth is, even if he had, it is unlikely he would have made the short trek to get one there, either.
I know youre trying to find out the reason people arent doing it, Mr. Grayson said on a recent afternoon. Im going to tell you. People are trying to take care of their household. You dont have much time in the day.
In addition to the doubters, President Biden said at a news briefing last week, the mission is to get the vaccine to those who are just not sure how to get to where they want to go.
Technically, they have access to the vaccine. Practically, it is not that simple.
Changing Minds With Science
That was the realization Ficco eventually came to.
The truth is that I was terrified, she said. The misinformation out there struck me right in my terrified new-mama heart.
It wasnt until her sister-in-law started an anti-vaccine blog that Ficco began to reconsider her own position on vaccines.
Parents were taking her advice and opinion as fact and that really slapped me in the face. I realized I had been reading and making choices for my kids based basically on her blog, just from different people with different platforms, Ficco said.
Once that realization hit, around the time her oldest daughter was nearly 3 and her youngest was 6 months, she took them to the pediatrician to begin getting their vaccinations. My girls have recently been completely caught up, she said proudly.
Today, Ficco said her biggest regret is that she allowed her earlier choices about vaccinations to be guided by fear instead of science.
The biggest thing Ive learned in this journey is that correlation does not equal causation, and to really consider the source of what youre reading before you take anything as fact, she said.
How Most People View Vaccinations
Ficcos initial hesitation to vaccinate her child isnt uncommon. In fact, experts say more than 60 percent of new parents feel this way.
L.J. Tan, chief strategy officer of the Immunization Action Coalition , told Healthline, When we talk to parents about vaccines, they usually fall into three categories. First you have the folks like myself 20 to 30 percent of parents who are vaccinating because they believe in the science.
Conversely, he explained there are then 5 to 10 percent of parents who are so resistant to vaccines, nothing anyone says will ever change their minds.
But then theres the big group in the middle, the 60 percent who are hesitant but who we want to try to educate, he said.
Ficco was initially one of those. And had it not been for how that first doctors appointment went, its possible she could have been convinced to vaccinate her children entirely on schedule.
Healthline spoke to 20 parents who fall into that vaccine-hesitant 60 percent.
We asked them to explain their concerns and to bring us their questions.
The surprising result was that no two parents had the exact same concerns. Many were worried about unique family histories, or random connections theyd read about online.
According to Tan, this is true of vaccine-hesitant parents in general.
Instead, they all had their own worries when it came to the vaccines meant to protect their children.
Thats part of what Tan advocates for through the IAC.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Shingles Vaccine Cost At Cvs
It Is Useful To Examine The Various Cognitive Biases That Are Known To Sway Our Perceptions
In currently unpublished research, Betsch recently used the model to predict people’s uptake of the Covid-19 vaccines, and her results so far suggest that the 5Cs model can explain the majority of the variation in people’s decisions.
There will be other contributing factors, of course. A recent study from the University of Oxford suggests that a fear of needles is a major barrier for around 10% of the population. But the 5Cs approach certainly seems to capture the most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy.
When considering these different factors and the ways they may be influencing people’s behaviour, it is also useful to examine the various cognitive biases that are known to sway our perceptions.
Consider the first two Cs the confidence in the vaccine, the complacency about the dangers of disease itself.
Most people hesitant about taking the vaccine do not have anti-scientific views like the small minority of anti-vaccine protesters
Jessica Saleska at the University of California, Los Angeles points out that humans have two seemingly contradictory tendencies a “negativity bias” and an “optimism bias” that can each skew peoples appraisals of the risks and benefits.
Among Those Willing To Get The Vaccine People With Higher Incomes Have Been Vaccinated At Higher Rates
Neither Ms. Carness mother nor adult daughter, who live with the couple, has been vaccinated. Like some other Black Americans, family members said they had concerns about the safety of the vaccines when they first came out. But Mr. Grayson said he had come to believe that vaccination was safe after observing enough people getting a shot without incident. And Ms. Carnes, a hospice nurse, had her second shot last week. The issue for many in their circle, she said, was not hesitancy but opportunity.
If there was someone standing here right now who was saying, I have the vaccine for Covid, Ms. Carnes said, everyone in the house who doesnt have it would be getting it right now.
What might help this situation, added Mr. Grayson, is if it was like Dominos Pizza and you could call someone and say, Can I get my shot? And they come give it to you.
Recommended Reading: Cvs Tetanus
People Of Color Are Especially Vulnerable To Severe Covid
Generations of health inequities have caused Black and Hispanic/Latin Americans and other communities of color to be overrepresented in severe COVID-19 cases and deaths. People of color are vulnerable to COVID-19 risk factors, and are more likely to be working front-line, essential jobs that cannot be performed from home, increasing their chances of being infected. Getting vaccinated can provide protection for you and those you love.
I’ve Already Had Covid So I’m Protected
To be sure, having had COVID does offer some protection for a time. And thats great news.
That said, we know from a study published by the CDC in August 2020 that unvaccinated people who got COVID were much more likely to get COVID a second time.
The trouble with natural immunity the kind you get from having the virus is that everyone is different, said Dr. David Priest, Novant Health senior vice president and chief safety, quality and epidemiology officer.
It matters how old you are, what other health problems you have, what medications you take, and, frankly, how big a dose of COVID you got when you were infected, he continued. Some people will get infected and have very mild symptoms, and they tend to have milder immune responses, and their protection probably doesn’t last very long.
A question we might ask ourselves: If we believe in the power of the antibodies that come with getting COVID, why not think about taking advantage of a more powerful, and carefully measured, dose that could spare more misery?
Recommended Reading: Tdap Shot Cvs
Covid Vaccine Hesitancy: Why People Don’t Want The Shot
Here’s what influences someone’s decision on whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
When the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine in December after an arduous year of disease, death and sheltering in place, many celebrated vaccination as a way out of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.
Others weren’t as enthusiastic. Some became fearful of a vaccine they thought was rushed or experimental, and they may have heard false statements about vaccines causing infertility or containing a microchip. Others drew comparisons to a thick history of medical gaslighting and abuse of people who look like them at the hands of the US government. Then there are those who value individual liberty above all else, and view vaccine promotion as an intrusion on personal choice. The push for COVID-19 booster shots throw more light on the discussion.
The US is no stranger to a vocal antivaccine movement, but the people who’ve chosen not to get a COVID-19 vaccine yet aren’t necessarily “antivax.” In fact, antivaxxers are likely a small number in the much quieter and much larger group who are vaccine hesitant.
“Television and the internet is going to highlight the people who are the most vehemently antivax, but if you take a look at it, a lot of the reasons people aren’t getting vaccinated is that they just don’t know,” says David Dunning, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who studies human misbelief.
Social Media: The Good And The Bad
Social media and the internet has democratized information, so there is some good here. Many people share accurate vaccine informationthe platforms can give doctors and scientists a voice to reach people directly.
Others are using social media to share the experience of getting the vaccine, their vaccine reaction, and side effects . Its also emerging as a way for young people who do get very sick with COVID-19 to highlight their experiences, sharing that the danger is real.
The problem is that the lack of regulations on user-generated content has made social media a trove of misinformation, disinformation, and rumors. Users can post without verifying the accuracy of their claimsor even without the intention of being accurate at all. And algorithms are designed to keep you scrolling.
Read Also: Tdap Shot At Cvs
‘ill Wait For A Different Vaccine’
If you wait for your preferred vaccine, it may be too late. Its best to get vaccinated before an outbreak starts so youre well protected from COVID-19.
Also, it takes 7 to 14 days after your second dose of either vaccine before youre fully protected from COVID-19. So dont delay.
To book your vaccination, contact your doctor or use the Vaccine Clinic Finder to find a GP or vaccine provider near you.
Disappointment From Those Who Find Vaccines An Easy Call
Masking, shutdowns, illness, and suffering: weve all endured more than a year of this, or watched people in our wider circles and across the world do so. Many of us grieve losses big and small, wishing we could turn the clock back to Before Times.
Widespread vaccination seems like the clearest route to get the pandemic under control yes, even considering breakthrough infections that people who are vaccinated may experience. So far, weve seen very few vaccinated people get hospitalized or die. In stark contrast, most severe illnesses and deaths in recent months have been among unvaccinated people.
Looking back a few decades, we need only consider the enormous impact of vaccination on polio, smallpox, influenza, and many other infectious illnesses to recognize the amazing potential of widespread vaccination to slow or even eliminate a contagion like COVID-19. Yet here we are, stuck at just over 60% of the eligible US population fully vaccinated as of this writing. And thats the average number. Vaccination rates vary tremendously across states and communities, despite this shared history of vaccine successes, the outstanding safety and effectiveness of the available vaccines for COVID-19, and skyrocketing cases of dangerously ill people overwhelming hospitals in many parts of the US.
You May Like: Can I Get A Tdap Shot At Cvs
Greater Goods Guide To Well
Practices, resources, and articles for facing COVID-19
Appealing to our shared vulnerability may also be important, says Larson, as a continuing pandemic thwarts goals everyone shareslike reopening businesses and strengthening our weakened economy. If we can tie mass vaccination into peoples sense of unity and common purpose, it could make a dent in vaccine resistance.
One of the things about COVID vaccines, which is very different from childhood vaccines, is that it matters to everybody, says Larson. Its not just about you. Weve got to do this together.
Key Themes From Our Survey
- Vaccine acceptance rose slightly in our latest survey, but at this point, we cant say its a trend.
- Vaccine rejectors skew younger than acceptors. Why? One reason could be their preferred news sourcessocial media. Another could be COVID-19s lesser impact on younger populations.
- Rejection of the COVID-19 vaccine could spell disaster. Every age group needs to take the vaccine, even if they arent all that susceptible to severe infection.
Young people tend to think theyre invincible. And in the case of COVID-19, theyre not always wrongmost young people show few symptoms if they contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But our data shows that this may be leading them to dismiss the urgency of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, potentially putting others, and their future selves, at risk.
The pandemic is still raging and the United States is nearing 500,000 COVID-related deaths. But this sobering statistic is paired with some good news: over 64 million people in the U.S. have now gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and the vaccine rollout is up to 2 million shots in arms every day. The U.S. just secured an additional 200 million doses of vaccines to be delivered by the end of July, which should be enough for every American to get two doses of vaccine.
- Acceptors: Those who would agree to be vaccinated
- Rejectors: Those who would not agree to take a vaccine
- Undecideds: Those who dont know if they would take a vaccine
Don’t Miss: Does Cvs Do Tdap Shots
I’m Worried About Vaccine Side Effects
Some people have experienced a day or two of fatigue and other flu-like symptoms these are common with any vaccine. But some are concerned about scenarios that arent real, like unproven claims about, for example, infertility.
There are no links to fertility problems and the vaccine, said Dr. Pamela Oliver, an ob-gyn with in Winston-Salem, Novant Health executive vice president and president of Novant Health Physician Network. There’s nothing even theoretical about this, or any, vaccine causing infertility, she said. Anything you hear or read to the contrary is absolutely unfounded.
More Vaccinations For Covid
After over a year of coronavirus pandemic closures, cancellations and postponements, everyone is eager to think about returning to work, school, sports, family celebrations and social activities. Though no one is sure when the pandemic will be over, every person who gets protection from the coronavirus by getting a vaccination helps us move closer to normal life.
Read Also: Does Cvs Pharmacy Give Tdap Vaccine
Covid: Why Some Doctors And Nurses Hesitate To Get Vaccinated
The coronavirus vaccine is seen as the only way to combat the pandemic. Medical and nursing staff are at high risk of contracting and spreading the disease. So why do many of them in Germany not want to get vaccinated?
Many German doctors and nurses are wary of the new COVID vaccines
Berlin’s Bethel Hospital in the tranquil south of the capital is a rather small institution, far removed from the hustle and bustle of large clinics. But of course, the coronavirus pandemic has changed all that.
A once-vacant ward has been converted for vaccinations. But what is still missing is the vaccine itself, as with so many other locations in Germany. That is somewhat frustrating, says senior physician and pandemic officer Hans Weigeldt. After all, he says, the vaccine is required to offer a glimmer of hope after months of hard work, to lift the spirits of health workers.
Nurse Sebastian Schmidt wants to be vaccinated as soon as possible, to protect himself and others.
My Brother Says He’s Also Cautious Because The Vaccines Had Only Emergency Fda Authorization Full Authorization For Pfizer Could Come As Soon As Next Month I Asked Him If That Would Change His Mind
Not really, he said, as the FDA is a government organization, and maybe President Joe Biden pressured them to approve it. “He’s going overboard trying to sell it,” Chris said. “Because Biden wants me to get it so bad, that makes me skeptical of getting it.”
So does politics play into his decision not to get a vaccine? Absolutely, he says. He doesn’t trust the president. But the vaccine was developed under President Donald Trump, I pointed out. “He was under pressure” to get a vaccine quickly to reopen the economy, Chris replied.
Chris is a Christian conservative and lifelong Texan. He’s bothered by the pressure to get what he calls “the jab,” such as lotteries, financial incentives, employer mandates.
Will these types of mandates encourage him to get the vaccine? “No.” He had COVID-19 late last year, and while there are people now sick for a second time, he isn’t worried about getting it again. He said blood tests have confirmed he has COVID antibodies, and he feels comfortable with his natural immunity.
However, it’s not known exactly how long antibodies from infection last or how mutations of the virus may impact that. Research in Science magazine found natural immunity can last at least eight months. More recent research, in Nature, detected cells producing coronavirus antibodies in patients at least 11 months after they had mild COVID-19 cases.
Chris doesn’t look down on those who get the vaccine. He thinks vaccines are purely a personal choice.
You May Like: Cheapest Shingles Shot