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Doctors easing fears over COVID vaccine

Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 3:26 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Nearly 25,000 COVID vaccines have been allocated for North Dakota. of them, nearly half have been administered.

The vaccine is still very new and came “quicker than expected”. But in order for people to get it, they need to trust it. And health care workers are the ones saying they’re dealing with skeptics.

Doctors aren’t just fighting the pandemic, they’re fighting misinformation on the COVID vaccine and its development. What medical leaders call a fast-track over administrative hurdles, a select part of the public calls a lack of transparency.

As health care workers receive the vaccine, they also have to sell its safety. Some see the quick development and rollout as the key to ending the pandemic sooner, but others see it differently.

”I’d say up to 40 - 50% are skeptical of it. They just want to take a wait-and-see attitude to it,” said Tod Graeber or CHI St. Alexius.

Comments in our recent reports ranged from, “I’m a very big skeptic of it. A rush vaccine? That just seems so dangerous to me,” to “I want to see people’s reaction is before I start taking it.”

A Gallup poll from November shows the COVID vaccine becoming more and more popular, but still showing 40-percent of people not wanting to receive the vaccine. And while the vaccine’s approval for emergency use and growing availability is bringing relief to the health care system, patients are talking to their doctors about their concerns over the vaccine.

”There are some that have made up their mind, and that’s fair. But I think people are hungry for accurate knowledge. So, the more that we can get out there and inform and educate, people are listening. Definitely,” said Dr. Laura Archuleta, CHI St. Alexius physician.

Health professionals say the concerns over the vaccine’s quick development wasn’t a short-cut in its development. In some trials, there were significantly more people who took part than what is generally recommended. The state’s goal of 70% of North Dakotans receiving the vaccine still has a long way to go.

Hospitals and clinics are only given a few days’ notice on how many doses they’ll be getting. Giving health professionals time to ease fears.

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