Neighbors

4 reasons people refuse the Covid vaccine

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez

By S. Mitra Kalita

 

One of the doctors who has been invaluable to Epicenter’s vaccine efforts is Mark Horowitz, a family doctor in downtown Manhattan. On Monday, as I was on The Brian Lehrer Show talking about the disconcerting uptick in Covid cases, notably in undervaccinated neighborhoods, he called in. 

The people who are not getting their vaccines now are not hesitant, Dr. Horowitz said. They are “vaccine refusers.” He then proceeded to give us the four characteristics of what he’s seeing among patients, which I share here because each feels highly refutable — if we approach the refusers from a place of understanding and expertise. 

What they say: 

“It’s not FDA approved.”

What we might say: 

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he is confident that FDA approval is coming as all data has been “positive.” Further, the government is taking its time so as not to sow further mistrust. 

What they say: 

“I am worried the vaccine will affect my fertility.”

What we might say: 

I’m a big fan of showing, not telling. Here’s a fertility expert from Mount Sinai with some data on the effect of vaccines on sperm and egg production. Bottom line: you’re all good. 

What they say:

“I am worried about coronary disease.”

What we might say: 

Here is what Harvard Medical School says: “The vaccine is safe and advised for people with a history of heart attack and cardiovascular disease.” It goes on to cite the American Heart Association. 

What they say: 

“I already had Covid and thus I have immunity.”

What we might say: 

Reinfection is rare, but possible. That’s the word from Gavi (the vaccine alliance that works with the World Health Organization) that has definitely recommended that people who have had Covid still get the vaccine; “having had Covid-19 is no guarantee against catching it again.”

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