Participation in the Covid-19 vaccination effort around the country runs the gamut — from those who joyfully bared their arms for the shot to those who outright refused the opportunity and to those who remain on the fence and are hesitant to take the leap.
In Lee County, about 51,500 residents have received at least one dose, or about 39 percent of the county's 133,500 residents. Just over 40,000 have received their entire series of vaccine doses.
There is still a lot of work to do and vaccines to disperse to get herd immunity, where at least 70 percent of the population is either vaccinated or immune due to previous exposure.
Getting those who are vaccine hesitant on board will be key to reaching that level. EAMC addressed some of the concerns voiced about receiving the vaccine.
The temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over rare blood clots has caused doubt for some over whether they should get vaccinated. The serious side effect is extremely rare, though, as EAMC pointed out in a Q&A they shared this week, noting that only 15 people out of seven million who received the J&J vaccine developed blood clots in their legs.
"While that is 15 too many, we have to remember that Covid-19 has killed more than 550,000 people in the United States and more than 3 million people worldwide," according to an EAMC news release. "To date, unexpected side effects from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been very limited. These two vaccines have been on the market longer and been given to more than 150 million people in the U.S."
The EAMC Community Vaccine Clinic administers the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, which requires two doses, along with the Moderna vaccine, and uses a different technology than Johnson & Johnson.
People forgoing their second dose of vaccine after receiving their first is another trend that has developed nationwide. While one dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines does provide protection, two doses are required for the vaccines to reach an effectiveness of 95 percent.
"Partial vaccination leaves you more susceptible to the original Covid-19 virus and the mutant strains that are becoming more prevalent throughout the U.S," the release said. "Also, it’s important to know that minor side effects are normal; that means your body is responding appropriately to the vaccine."
Currently, everyone 16 and older is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. To self-schedule at the Community Clinic, go to www.eastalcovidvaccine.com.