COVID-19 vaccines have been around for more than seven months and we still haven’t reached herd immunity. US health officials are still struggling to convince the vaccine-hesitant population to take the shots.

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CDC, FDA and local health officials have all touted the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as extremely safe, and effective. They say that we can see for ourselves that the vaccines are safe since cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have all been reduced since the vaccines have been in use.

Health officials concede that the vaccines are not 100% effective in eliminating the virus, but they contend that the vaccines are 99.9% effective against hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. People still come down with “breakthrough” infections, but these infections are considered extremely rare.

Officials also concede that there are small risks associated with some of the vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was suspended for a period of time while health officials sorted out issues with blood clotting in some patients. The suspension did not last long and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now in use.

We’ve all heard from health officials why we should take the shot, but what I want to know is why so many people are refusing to be vaccinated.

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Somehow the COVID-19 virus and vaccinations have become a political issue. I’ve seen politicians on TV claiming that the virus is not real, or they said that their supporters should not take the vaccine. Many of those politicians have come down with the virus, and most have been vaccinated against it. For example, Donald Trump and his wife were both vaccinated before they left the White House in January.

I’ve talked to a lot of people about their hesitancy due to a lack of trust in the government. They cite the Tuskegee Experiment as a prime example of how unsuspecting Black people were part of an experience. These people have no interest in being part of a COVID-19 vaccine experiment.

What about you, have you been vaccinated? If you haven’t been vaccinated, why not?

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