'I don't know the long-term effects': Vaccine hesitancy persists amid rise in supply

The conversation at Futuristic Stylz Beauty Braid Bar in Kent often turns to coronavirus vaccines. Just blocks away from Jazzmaine Bailey’s salon, there is a sign welcoming anyone to walk right into ShoWare to get a shot and no appointment needed.

 "It’s scary I don’t know, I want to do more research," Bailey said.

Her client on Thursday, Latasha Knopps is also vaccine-hesitant.

"I’m pro-vaccine as long as it’s been around for a while," Knopps said.

Bailey’s business partner has heard this all before and continues to challenge them on the hesitancy.

RELATED: Vaccine appointments open up in parts of Washington state amid some hesitancy

 "You think you’re invincible," Larry Evans said.

The three of them went back and forth debating the vaccine, something others are also doing behind closed doors. Evans is vaccinated, he’s been trying to convince Bailey to get the shot for weeks to no avail.

"Whenever I see her I urge her, it’s her choice," Evans said.

The tide has turned and the days of hunting down a short supply of vaccines is over. Many vaccination sites have more supply than demand now with a new campaign.

"How can we get more people to come to our site," Leon Richardson with King County Health Dept said.

RELATED: Washington state facing shutdowns, Phase rollbacks as coronavirus cases rise

Richardson is overseeing the ShoWare Center and says on average up to 1,500 people will show up to get a vaccine at the Kent site in one day. But on Thursday they had up to 3,000 doses and in the coming days they will have more.

"We are in South King County for a reason the test numbers have been higher," Richardson said.

But is there anything health leaders can say or do to get Bailey and Knopps to walk into Showare?

"Don’t try to convince me if they run after me with a needle, good luck, I still don’t want to get a vaccine that I don’t know the long-term effects," Knopps said.

Richardson says there is an information gap as well as rumors about the vaccine to combat.

He says the health department is working with community partners to reach people and to answer concerns.

With supply going up, we also wanted to know if waste would become an issue. Health leaders say waste is very rare. At the Kent site, Richardson said they had 2 to 3 doses wasted this week.

The Washington Dept. of Health says so far 5.2 million doses have been administered with 6,838 doses wasted, but say that is ‘minimal.’

The reason for the waste varies from spills, unused vaccines to temperature issues with the vials.

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