JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The U.S. has signed a nearly $2 billion deal with Pfizer to receive the first 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in December.
The Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, made the announcement Wednesday.
But more medical experts are worried that not enough people will get the vaccine once it does become available.
The speed with which the coronavirus vaccine is being developed, a process that usually takes years, is just one of the reasons many are worried about its safety.
Action News Jax took those concerns to a local immunologist and allergist Dr. Sunil Joshi. “It does appear that they’re doing it the appropriate way and if we’re looking at the end of the year or early next year, then we would have large groups of patients that would have been in the research studies,” said Dr. Joshi.
Dr. Joshi said it's those vast clinical trials that should give people more peace of mind.
A recent survey by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago found that only 49% of adults would get the vaccine.
It also found that African Americans and Hispanics, two of the groups most affected by this pandemic, were also among those who were less likely than others to get the vaccine.
“It’s very concerning,” said Dr. Joshi. “This is where it’s our job to educate people appropriately in what vaccines are and what vaccines aren’t.”
The anti-vaxxer movement is yet another big hurdle, Dr. Joshi calls it a ‘potential hazard’ as they often spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Doctor Joshi said it's now more important than ever that our leaders communicate in a way that helps quell the fears with facts.
“What the leaders are saying in regards to COVID-19 makes a huge impact in terms of what the population thinks,” said Dr. Joshi.
Dr. Joshi encourages everyone who is vaccine-hesitant to speak with a medical expert who understands the science.
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