WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — We’ve seen the push to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as the struggle to make an appointment.
But we’ve also seen hesitancy by many adults to get a shot as soon as they can. A leading health expert says it’s just one of the obstacles that needs to be overcome to end the pandemic.
We are seeing some discouraging numbers even as more COVID-19 vaccine is being made available and more people are getting vaccinated. Too many Americans say they’ll take a hard pass on getting the shot including some in the medical community.
“People who are on the front lines, healthcare providers, there are still about one in five who don’t expect to get the vaccine or don’t want to get the vaccine,” Association of American Medical Colleges Research and Action Institute Executive Director Dr. Atul Grover said.
Dr. Grover says getting as many people vaccinated as possible right now needs to be a priority. That includes people in rural areas. Nearly one in three of them say they would definitely not get the vaccine or only if required. Then there’s another problem: people who want the vaccine that not even a mass vaccination clinic can solve.
“People who are more likely to be homebound, have trouble traveling, people who are in rural areas, those are the ones that we’ve got to figure out how do we get to them as well so I don’t think it’s an either/or. I think it’s a both/and,” Dr. Grover said.
That means getting Pennsylvania’s recently sidelined independent pharmacy providers back online to administer shots to those populations.
“We can’t leave people behind, particularly those who are already vulnerable in communities that are most affected. They may need to and they may want to go to providers that are, you know, highly trusted by them and we need to meet them where they are,” Dr. Grover said.
Dr. Grover says we can’t overlook other vulnerable populations including prison inmates, the homeless and those living remotely. He says everyone deserves to get vaccinated, that it’s what will protect us all.
Dr. Grover says those of us who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 should spread the word among family, friends and faith communities to help build trust in the vaccine.