CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, many Americans are choosing not to get vaccinated or are still on the fence about it.
A recent poll asked Americans about getting the vaccine, and the results might surprise you.
According to the poll, 30% of Americans said they do not plan to get the vaccine, and health officials say if we don’t vaccinate at a higher level, we run the risk of going into a third wave of people getting sick.
“Time is of the essence here because with the vaccinations here, we want to get them out very quickly and we want to get them out to as many people as possible, knowing we have variants across the united states,” Dr. Sherri Young, who is the Executive Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said.
Whether you choose to get the COVID-19 vaccination or not, it’s still a personal choice, but experts are urging people to get it.
“It’s so hard and frustrating when we see, the before and after when the vaccine was introduced. Even in our working groups as health professionals, and to see something right there as a tool they can use to protect themselves and someone choose not to do it,” Angie Settle, CEO of West Virginia Health Right said.
A National Public Radio/PBS News Hour/Marist poll surveyed more than 1,200 adults from March 3. to March 8. 45% say they plan to get vaccinated; 22% have already been vaccinated and 30% say they do not plan to get the vaccine.
“With 30% of people being vaccine hesitant for COVID, of course we would like more people to come around who are vaccine eligible. With that, we’re going to get through the process a little more quickly and a little more safely,” Dr. Young said.
Settle says she thinks people who choose not to get vaccinated haven’t worked closely with people who have been affected by COVID-19.
“If people are in their houses or they’ve been quarantining, they’re not realizing how prevalent that it is or that they hear the overall numbers are dropping and they let down their guard,” Settle said.
So far, thousands of vaccines have been administered throughout the state, and health professionals say they haven’t seen any serious side effects with any of the vaccine options.
“If we get to the point where we don’t have enough arms to put it in, we get to where we reach our saturation point for vaccinations, we’re also going to reach out to other counties who have lower numbers of vaccine and they can have the vaccine or we can stand up and support them to get those in arms,” Dr. Young said.
Health professionals say they hope people look at their friends and family who have already been vaccinated and change their minds. If not, they still can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, staying socially distant and washing their hands.