ROCHESTER, Minn. - Health experts are remaining hopeful that we're on the tail end of the pandemic as more vaccines roll out. However, while the supply is there, the demand from the public isn't.
KIMT News 3 is learning it's because many people are still hesitant. Dr. Robert Jacobson with Mayo Clinic explained it's okay that some of us are hesitant or skeptical when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine and they want to answer your questions if you are. He said here was a high demand from the public at the beginning stages of vaccine rollout that the supply couldn't keep up. That's because almost all of the people eligible to get it were front line workers. Now, it's the opposite as some people still aren't sure if they want to get it.
Some of the biggest questions patients have are 'is the vaccine effective and is it actually safe.' Dr. Jacobson explained other concerns he's hearing. "Do I really need it? Do I need it? What about alternatives, what about if I just continue to work from home and wear a mask and stay socially distanced," he said. "Can I trust the authorities? Fortunately, we're in a situation where we can confidently answer all 5 of those categories."
Dr. Jacobson explained despite the short amount of time the vaccines were produced and tested, the FDA didn't allow room for the manufacturers to cut any corners or take short cuts. Medical experts took the same amount of time to analyze the data just as they would any other vaccine. He said at the end of the day, it's the science behind the shot that will get us through the pandemic. "There will be things that we were sure of based on the data that will change," said Dr. Jacobson. "That's not because following science is wrong - that's because that's the nature of science. As the story emerges, as the data becomes clearer, we know what we need to do now."
Dr. Jacobson said vaccines are far safer than any medicine doctors use to treat COVID-19 or a different infection. He explained with new variants emerging, getting an annual vaccine to prevent the coronavirus could be a possibility in the future.