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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Some frontline workers turning down vaccines

Local health officials urge them not to wait
Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 22:36:39-05

WXMI — Some frontline and healthcare workers are turning down the option to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

In Wayne County, Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, chief health strategist with the Wayne Co. Health Department says only 1,200 of their first 1,600 on the list to be vaccinated actually agreed to get the shot.

“It is surprising, specifically within this population,” he said. “Many cited the reason that it is too soon, we don’t know enough, we want to wait. Nobody’s said, ‘I will not take it,’ but some said, ‘I want to wait six months; I want to see what’s happening.’”

In Kent County, health department spokesman Steve Kelso says they too saw some initial reluctance but are now seeing a surge in vaccine appointments now that some workers have gotten through their first and second doses with no major concerns.

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“I’m incredibly encouraged by the way these appointments have been filling up,” said Kelso. “It’s encouraging to us that they went so fast, and it really shows us that there is a high level of interest in taking that vaccine.”

Kelso said many wanted to respect their place in line and make sure they weren’t jumping someone who needed it more. He also said the department got a lot of concern from pregnant women, a group that was not included in the vaccine’s clinical trials.

Health officials, like Dr. Hammami, who already received both doses of his vaccine, are urging people to trust the approval process – the same as for any other drug, just done at a much faster pace.

“If it is your turn to take the vaccine, you are one of the very privileged few, and to turn it down just because you do not know enough would be, truly, a disappointment,” he said.