(NewsNation Now) — Many Americans have heeded the call to get the COVID-19 vaccine to do otherwise might seem to some selfish or unamerican, but there is a very large number of eligible people who remain unvaccinated in spite of the calls by the White House and the CDC to get the shots.
Right now nearly 58% of eligible Americans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. That means over 100 million people still aren’t.
In places like Dallas County, less than 38% have received both shots. According to Jackie Schlegel, with Texans for vaccine choice. They aren’t just anti-vaxxers.
“I have heard a lot of reasons why people are not choosing to get this vaccine,” she said. “Some are waiting for that FDA approval. And I think that is a legitimate and valid reason to wait to get the vaccine.”
Others we talked to across the country shared the same concerns, unknown side effects being one of them.
And some with pre-existing conditions are concerned with how the vaccine may affect them, though doctors say they are among the most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection.
Some are uneasy about complications due to their already existing health issues, whether from previous surgeries, disability or even allergies.
Some are apprehensive about public health campaigns hesitant not only of the vaccine, but government overreach
“The more this is pushed, and the way that it’s pushed, that in and of itself is alarming to them,” Schlegel said. “The fact that agencies are showing up at our doorstep is ringing some bells with people that you know, that’s making them apprehensive about this.”
Among other reasons people we talked to were weary because they were unsure of the vaccines efficacy, and now more reluctant since there have been a number of cases where vaccinated individuals still contracted COVID-19. It’s known as a breakthrough infection.
The two mRNA vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are around 95% effective at preventing severe disease against the original COVID-19 strain. The Johnson & Johnson shot was shown to be around 66% effective in its clinical trial. None of the people in clinical trials for all three vaccines who received a dose died from COVID-19.
Most are dedicated to their right to freedom of choice. The justice department has said employers have the right to mandate their employees get the vaccine. Many school systems already require vaccinations for the measles, polio, and other illnesses.
Still, Schlegel says it’s putting some people who would rather not take the COVID-19 vaccine in a bind.
“I literally cannot keep up with how many individuals are at risk of losing their jobs right now, because of this vaccine mandate, Schlegel said. “I think they have very valid and legitimate concerns whether it be medical, whether it be privacy, whether it be liberty or freedom.”
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