Why Are NC Residents Hesitant About Vaccine? - TribPapers

Why Are NC Residents Hesitant About Vaccine?

Asheville – Even in the midst of an increase in COVID cases caused by the Delta variant, North Carolinians are hesitant about getting the vaccin. A survey by QuoteWizard might shed some light on why.

According to the survey released Thursday (Aug. 12), there are a number of reasons that only 47 percent of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated, which is just below the national average of 54 percent. The number one reason cited is side effects. According to the survey, 58 percent of unvaccinated individuals worry about the vaccine’s potential unintentional side effects. Forty-seven percent say they are waiting to see if the vaccine is safe, followed by 37 percent who don’t trust the vaccine, 32 percent who don’t trust the government and 25 percent who don’t believe they need the vaccine.

“The numbers won’t add up to 100% because each person gave several reasons for not getting the vaccine,” says Amanda Doss, Public Relation Specialist for QuoteWizard.

The breakdown of the group surveyed by age is as follows: 

18-24 at 11 percent

25-39 at 16 percent 

40-54 at 13 percent 

55-64 at 8 percent 

65+ at 5 percent

Key findings cited in the release were:

Nationwide, 54 percent of people say concerns over side effects are keeping them from getting the vaccine.

Kentucky, Iowa and Massachusetts have the highest numbers of people who won’t get the vaccine because they don’t trust the government.

Alaska and several Midwestern states have the highest numbers of people who won’t get the vaccine because they feel they don’t need it.

National leaders once skeptical about vaccine too

Now national leaders,  both Vice-President Karma Harris and President Joe Biden, conveyed their doubts about a vaccine. Harris told a national interviewer during the 2020 election season when asked if she’d get the vaccine, “I think that will be a question for all of us.” 

During a 2020 election debate, President Joe Biden sarcastically asked, “When we do, God willing, finally do get a vaccine, who’s going to take the shot? Who’s going to get the shot? You going to be the first one to take the shot? You going to say, ‘sign me up?’ They now say it’s OK.” He also stated at a press conference, “And the question of whether its [the vaccine] real when its there require enormous transparency. You got to make it all available to other experts all across the nation. So they can look and see. So there’s a consensus that this is a safe vaccine.”

Herd immunity not possible anymore

Those hoping to achieve herd immunity when 70 percent of the population is vaccinated have seen that number creep up to where it is now 90 percent and that’s no guarantee. 

Ed Yong writes in the Atlantic Magazine, “Delta can spread through a half-vaccinated country more quickly than the original virus could in a completely unvaccinated country. It can even cause outbreaks in places with 90 percent vaccination rates but no other defenses.”

Indeed the leading professor of an Oxford Vaccine Group, which partnered with AstraZeneca to make one of the world’s most common COVID-19 vaccines, said herd immunity is no longer possible. “Herd immunity is not a possibility” because the Delta variant “still infects vaccinated individuals,” said Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, in an interview with ITV. He also stated there is nothing “the UK can do to stop the emergence of new variants.”

Pressure to get vaxxed

The Biden Administration has already mandated vaccinations. Yahoo News reported, “President Biden announced in a speech Thursday that all federal employees and contractors are now required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or face regular testing before returning to in-person work.” 

The military mandated vaccinations along with Health & Human Service workers. 

MSN.com reported that “White House press secretary Jen Psaki has denied that the Biden administration is looking to implement a national vaccine mandate. She said it has ‘ruled out’ an ‘across-the-board federal vaccine mandate,’ noting that such an order is ‘not on the table’ and that mandating vaccination is ‘not the role of the federal government.’ Instead, she put that responsibility on institutions, private sector entities and local communities.”

Employers are also increasingly mandating their employees get vaccinated or be fired. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OHSA), if an employer requires a vaccine as a requirement of employment, they bear the financial responsibility of the employee who has an adverse reaction to the vaccine under their workers’ compensation. Ashley Cuttino, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Greenville, SC told SHRM.org, “…Employer-mandated vaccines are considered a part of work. So under most state laws, an adverse reaction would be covered by workers’ compensation.”

Some Asheville area businesses are also requiring proof of vaccination before you can enter their business. 

According to Fox21 News, “The Lazy Diamond [a private club] in Asheville, NC, announce[d] that they will require everyone to show proof of vaccination before they participate in any activities.”

On August 5, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company on Merrimon Ave posted to their FaceBook page, “As of next Thursday, August 12th, all dine-in guests and moviegoers at our Merrimon Avenue location will be required to provide a legal, valid Covid-19 vaccination card at the door to enter.”

No one is addressing the legality of these businesses to see private medical information, which seem to violate federal laws.

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