FACT VS. FICTION: Who actually cannot get the vaccine vs. who should

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — President Joe Biden and health experts across the country are calling this spike in COVID cases a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Our Action News Jax Medical Expert, Dr. Michelle Aquino, said she’s seeing an overwhelming number of COVID patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Baptist Health. Many of them have not had the vaccine.

”There’s people in the hospital, in the ICU that are right at the point before getting a tube down their throat because they can’t breathe,” Dr. Michelle Aquino said. “They’re asking for the vaccine. We can’t give it to them.”

Dr. Aquino says at that point it’s too late.

Action News Jax reporter spoke one on one with Aquino about who should get the shot and who comprise the population that cannot for health reasons.

Right now, we know that anyone under the age of 12 cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Therefore, they’re at risk of catching the virus and they aren’t alone.

”If you’re actively getting chemotherapy, you’re in that small very group that right now you cannot get a vaccine,” Dr. Aquino said. “If you have symptoms from HIV/AIDS where your immune system is so weak, sometimes you cannot get a vaccine.”

There is also a very small population of immunocompromised people who could be at risk.

”Sometimes if you’re so immunocompromised and you’re actively sick from something else, you cannot actively get a vaccine right then and there,” Dr. Aquino said. “There’s a small, extremely small, minute group of people that are probably allergic to everything in the vaccine or certain things within the vaccine that they cannot receive a vaccine. That group is small.”

Dr. Aquino said besides the above groups mentioned, everyone else should be fine to get the shot. You can always consult with your doctor if you’re unsure.

Infertility has been something people have concerns about, but several health experts have proved that there is no connection.

”Right now, as a woman, the chance of infertility -- as far as we’re aware -- is zero. We are not worried about infertility. These are good vaccines, and you need to stay safe,” Dr. Aquino said. “I have a 19-year-old child, and I have a 20-year-old child. They have both been vaccinated with Pfizer. I assure you they are going to give me grandchildren, at some point.”

Dr. Aquino said it’s important to get the vaccine, especially to guard the groups mentioned above.

”To protect those people would we do? We need to get vaccinated to help protect those people,” Dr. Aquino said.