PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In the last few weeks, we’ve seen fewer people coming out to various clinics, and one doctor told KDKA there are three reasons for vaccine hesitancy.
He said fear, misinformation and distrust are the reasons for the hesitancy, and it’s not easy to change people’s views on either one.READ MORE: 10th Settlement Reached In West Virginia VA Hospital Deaths
“I had some family members that were hesitant. But after research came out and seeing how people they knew reacted, they are all for it too,” said CMU student Isabella Giammatteo.
Dr. Randolph Peters said there is no easy solution other than to educate people and ask them to look to their doctors rather than social media.
“People are just tired and they just want it to go away. They may think that COVID isn’t that bad, maybe it will just go away, everyone else can get the vaccine and I won’t bother,” Peters said.READ MORE: Churchill Borough Residents Voice Slew Of Concerns Over Potential Amazon Distribution Center
The problem is that we are seeing more hesitancy as fewer vaccine appointments are filling up. So far, only about 40 percent of the state’s population has gotten the first dose.
“The way you defeat the pandemic is every one that is standing in line has to be holding hands. The virus is looking for the weakest point. … If you are getting to be the point in which the virus is always breaking through, then the whole line goes down, doesn’t matter how many precautions other people take,” Peters said.
Dr. Peters told KDKA it’s going to be tough to get to that 95 percent of herd immunity if we are already slowing this quickly. So does that mean we could be wearing masks for years to come? The simple answer is “yes.”
“The more people you allow to get infected, the more chance you allow for the virus to be smarter. So exposing more and more people without vaccinating and not taking precautions, it’s not leading to herd immunity. It’s leading to a smarter virus,” Peters said.MORE NEWS: Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create Shapeshifting Pasta
The issue, according to Peters, is that the smarter the virus becomes with those variants, the harder it will be to reach herd immunity and a return to normalcy. His advice is to educate yourself and consider signing up for a dose.