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How you can help friends & family overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Posted at 3:16 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 17:27:34-05

(WXYZ) — Now that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has opened up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all Michiganders ages 16 and older, beginning next month, the focus now turns to convincing more people to get the vaccine. Surveys show 1/3 of Americans are still hesitant to get vaccinated.

Related: All Michigan adults aged 16 & up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting April 5

Vaccines only work if people take them. A vast majority of people have to get vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity and stop the coronavirus from spreading.

However, a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows about 31% of the U.S. population is still hesitant about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Related: Here's when you're eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan

What that means is they want to “wait and see” how the vaccine is working for other people before getting it.

Here are the main reasons for this hesitancy:

- Worries about safety and long-term side effects

Related: White House, state to open regional COVID-19 vaccination site at Ford Field

- A lack of trust in the government

- Concerns that the vaccine is too new

- And, worries that they will contract COVID-19 from the vaccine.

Interestingly, 60% of the adults in this “wait and see” group do not yet know someone who has been vaccinated.

What can be done to help people get past this vaccine hesitancy?

First of all, vaccine hesitancy is normal and natural. Here are some ways to overcome it or help someone else to get past their uncertainty.

First, get answers to your questions about the vaccine. I encourage you to research credible sources, like the CDC website, where you can find vaccine myths and facts.

-If you have already been vaccinated, share your experience with those who are hesitant. - And talk about the known side effects and other concerns with your trusted health care provider, so you know what to expect.

There’s a new study that is offering another reason for people to see that the vaccine is highly effective. What's that about?

That’s right. One of the best weapons against vaccine hesitancy is data. A new Israeli study shows the Pfizer vaccine blocked 94% of asymptomatic COVID infections. That’s important because asymptomatic carriers are the primary ones spreading the disease. So, this means the Pfizer vaccine not only prevents severe illness, but it also dramatically reduces the transmission of the virus. Another reason to get vaccinated, so that we can bring an end to this COVID pandemic.

On the next Dr. Nandi Show, are your genes really your destiny? Not according to modern science! Joining Dr. Nandi, MD is Dirty Genes author Dr. Ben Lynch. He explains how it’s possible to clean up our genes to achieve greater health. Plus a formerly homeless teen, who became a United Nations Global Ambassador, is living proof that our genes don’t have to limit us. You won’t want to miss this discussion with activist and social entrepreneur, Bryant McGill. Tune in this Sunday, March 14th at 5 pm.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.