HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The first doses of a vaccine to fight COVID-19 were delivered and administered at Tampa General Hospital on Monday.
More than 100-million doses of the vaccine should be administered by the end of February across the country, but, not everyone will get the shot.
Dr. Jay Wolfson with USF Health said a survey from the Pew Research Center, which has included data points from Florida and Tampa Bay, shows between 40%-50% of people will not take the vaccine, and there are several reasons why.
“Some people are hesitant because it might be too early for them, some have pre-existing conditions, and a small group believes I don’t take any shots,” Wolfson said. “You should consult your physician and say am I a good candidate for this.”
Wolfson said an important group is the African American community, who has had concerns about government vaccines for years.
“It’s something we’ve worked very hard to develop that trust,” Wolfson said.
As the vaccine arrived at Tampa General Hospital, reactions remain mixed around Tampa Bay about the vaccine.
Fredly Bushey is from Nicaragua. He knows several people back home who tested positive for COVID-19, including his brother, and says he won’t hesitate taking the vaccine.
“This is not a joke, this is something real, and it’s deadly,” Bushey said. “If you want to live and stay with your family and friends longer you have to take it.”
Others like Gary Waldron said he stays way from any and all vaccines.
“I wouldn’t put that stuff in my body, no way,” Waldron said. “I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the virus, so I’m not concerned.”
Wolfson said over the next several months, another COVID-19 spike is expected in Tampa Bay that can reach up to 15,000 cases a day in Tampa Bay and 5,000 cases in Hillsborough County alone, so this is the time to be extra vigilant because the vaccine will not stop that spike.
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