In contrast, 26% of Troup County residents have been fully vaccinated, whereas 29% have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Thirty-nine percent of Georgia residents have been fully vaccinated and 44% of Georgia residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Horlander said he hears many “excuses” from people who don’t want to get the vaccine, some not trusting the system that put together the vaccine.
Horlander said the group was particularly concerned about Troup County, which has had large numbers of COVID-19 cases during the pandemic but continues to have a low number of vaccinated residents. “We wanted to give a positive message to the community that these physicians and practitioners believe in the vaccine, believe that it’s safe, highly recommend getting it, and it will save lives,” he said.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Troup County has had 6,194 cases of COVID-19 and 201 confirmed deaths from the disease. Over the last two weeks (as of July 16), Georgia has had 65 cases per 100,000 people whereas Troup County has had 155. Horlander said local hospitals are seeing a lot of COVID-19 cases, some of them severe.
“And then they find that it’s not a problem with the vaccine, but the community doesn’t hear that part, even though it is out there on the news if you look for it,” he said. Horlander said many people are too quick to blame the vaccine for causing illnesses that existed before the vaccine did. He explained that for the sake of transparency, the FDA sometimes publishes information about possible adverse effects of the vaccine.
Horlander gave the example of the vaccine supposedly causing trouble with pregnancy, which he said has been shown to be false. “Sometimes they say that they feel like it was rushed through,” he said. “They’re worried about complex adverse effects from the vaccine. They hear things about something that the vaccine may have caused, and they believe then forever that it causes those problems.”
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