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Hesitancy continues with COVID-19 vaccine rollout



AUGUSTA, Ga. – Almost 1 in 3 Americans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But according to CDC data, the demand for vaccines is declining. In Georgia, only 28% of the population is fully vaccinated, and in Richmond County, 19%.

It’s been two weeks since the FDA and CDC’s pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been lifted following reports of blood clots in six women. A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows less than half of Americans have confidence in the J&J shot compared to other vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna.

The Surrey Center Pharmacy began administering the single-dose J&J vaccine the following Monday after the pause had been lifted. “It is so nice to give everyone one shot and be done,” said pharmacist Alisha Hogan. She says she hasn’t seen too much hesitancy since they started offering the shot. “The majority of our patients are still really thrilled and excited to get the J&J vaccine,” Hogan said.

“The FDA, the CDC and the vaccine advisory committee have looked at all of these issues and found that by far, the benefits of getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh the risks,” said Dr. Rodger MacArthur, an infectious disease expert at the Medical College of Georgia. He says if you’re concerned about getting the vaccine, do your research. “Talk to friends who have been vaccinated,” Dr. MacArthur said. “Talk to family members. Discuss any concerns you might have about it.”

Pfizer recently announced that it is seeking full FDA approval of its vaccine for those ages 16 and older. The agency is expected to authorize the vaccine for emergency use in kids ages 12-15 next week.