NEW YORK, NY – A surprising number of healthcare workers in the United States, despite having priority access, are hesitant or even flat-out refusing to take the newly-released COVID-19 vaccine, citing potential safety concerns despite current testing indicating that the vaccines are safe and effective.
Reports are coming in from all over the country – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine noted that 60 percent of nursing home workers statewide were electing not to take the vaccine, a development he said “troubled” him; the association representing the New York Fire Department stated that 55 percent of surveyed firefighters would not take the vaccine; 50 percent of frontline workers in Riverside, California are also refusing the shot, and so on.
Some of the reasons are rooted in the simple fact that the two currently-available vaccines, developed by pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna, were rushed to market in record time in order to combat the effects of COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed over 1 million lives worldwide, and over 350,000 here in the U.S. Skeptics have expressed concerns that the long-term effects of the vaccines can’t be properly known yet, a sentiment echoed by 29 percent of respondents to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
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Others have different worries; to date, clinical trials have not been conducted upon pregnant women who have utilized the vaccine, leading to many female front-line workers being reluctant to take the shot. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated that the vaccines are not likely to pose any serious risk for woman who are or may be pregnant.
Also, some minorities have expressed distrust in the vaccine-creation and testing process, citing a lack of transparency of pharmaceutical industry and some of the dark periods of medical history involving African-Americans and Latinos, such as the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study.
The lack of frontline personnel taking the vaccine has resulted in confusion when it comes to what to do with the excess doses; meanwhile, reports indicate that the general public is far more receptive to taking the vaccine, likely in hopes to getting back to a “normal” life as soon as possible.