NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – CDC data shows vaccine reluctance to be high in Tennessee, as our state has one of the lowest rates of fully immunized adults in the country.
Despite Johnson & Johnson vaccines replaced by Pfizer in most parts of Middle Tennessee, some residents remain concerned.
“I don’t get the hit. I am worried about the side effects. It hasn’t been tested long enough, ”said Genia Helm, a Tennessee resident.
Health officials fear the recent pause in administering the J&J vaccine has further fueled people’s fears.
The Nashville drive-thru vaccination site, located in the former Kmart in Murfreesboro Pike, administered more than 200 injections on Monday. But on Tuesday, Metro Public Health Department spokesman Brian Todd said: “The numbers have dropped quite significantly to just over 100.”
And on Wednesday, appointments were not made at the Music City Center.
“This is the first week that we still have slots available,” Todd says.
CDC data on Wednesday shows Tennessee ranks 48th in the country for fully immunized adults, followed only by Alabama and Georgia.
“If you look across our state county by county, some counties are doing pretty well by national standards, and [there are] others who are not doing so well, ”said Dr James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College.
Dr Hildreth goes on to explain that vaccine “uptake” in rural communities continues to be a challenge.
“Thinking that there are so many people, some of whom have university degrees and are highly educated, are buying disinformation. We need to do a much better job of getting information to dispel some of the misconceptions people have about the vaccine, ”said Dr Hildreth.
Starting with the investigation of six cases of rare blood clots in women who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“I don’t want people to feel like the CDC is sending out a signal that vaccines are not safe. No, it’s just the opposite. They confirm that they are safe, so we can continue to use them.
But Hildreth says that in order to achieve collective immunity, everyone has to commit.
“We won’t get back to normal until most of us have been vaccinated, so there is work to be done,” said Dr Hildreth.