Millions of people are still very hesitant about getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines and that could be bad for them and others.
Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new. Vaccines have been met with suspicion and hostility for as long as they have existed.
Why aren’t people getting vaccinated?
Spread of myths and misunderstandings on social media despite efforts to prevent inaccurate information from spreading. For example, the rumor that the vaccine could affect fertility. Also, many people believe people are having “life-threatening reactions” to the vaccine that the media are not reporting. In reality, you are three times more likely to get struck by lightning than to die from the vaccine.
Fear of long-term side effects. Although adverse side effects usually show up within the first two weeks, people are still afraid there might be long-term side effects to vaccines.
The belief that youth and good health will protect a person from the coronavirus. The B.1.1.7 variant, which is a highly contagious strain, is hitting younger people hard.
People who have already had the virus don’t believe they need the vaccine. This is not true. Immunity from the virus does not last forever. Getting the vaccine will provide longer and stronger coverage.
People believe they can get the virus for the vaccine. This is impossible though because none of the current vaccines use pieces of the real coronavirus.
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Some people can’t because of a medical issue (i.e. people receiving chemotherapy).
Some religious groups believe that their faith will protect them. Many white evangelical Protestants are refusing to be vaccinated (26%) and many more are hesitant (28%).
Why is vaccine hesitancy a problem?
Herd immunity. Health experts say we need at least 70 to 85% of the population to be immunized in order to achieve herd immunity.
Mutations. The longer people stay unvaccinated, the more chances a virus has to mutate. New mutations often spread faster and kill faster.
Long-term consequences. Approximately 30% of people suffer from long-term consequences that impact a person’s quality of living. These include chronic fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath and brain fog.
The bigger risk for young adults. Young adults can also be the victims of their strong immune systems, meaning that their immune system overreacts and causes severe inflammation or other problems.
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