SEATTLE - Next week, the FDA is expected to make a decision on whether to grant emergency approval for a COVID-19 vaccine, but some folks in Western Washington are hesitant on if they would take it.
By the end of the month, Washington expects to receive more than 260,000 doses of the first round of vaccines.
However, some folks are not sure they would even take it.
“I do believe it is effective, but I don’t have confidence in its safety until we have had further studies and trials,” said Chris Gillette.
Experts say vaccines can take years or even decades to be completed. For Gillette, he’s concerned not enough time has gone into the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Right now, I would not take it. I would not want my family taking it,” he said.
Experts say the parameters around the COVID-19 vaccine are far different than most.
“I understand why given the history of vaccine development a lot of people would be concerned with how quickly this one has come out, but we’ve also never had the kind of development strategies that we have at our disposal today,” said Dan Bustillos.
Bustillos is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Bothell’s School of Nursing and Health Studies. His focus includes pandemic preparedness and vaccines. Bustillos said he can understand why folks may be hesitant about the vaccine, but this way of thinking could impact the vaccine's effectiveness.
“It’s concerning to me that recent polls, for example, show that up to 40-45% of people say they are not going to take the vaccine,” he said.
Bustillos said the vaccine needs about 70-90% of people to take it for it to fully be effective. He said without these numbers, it’s possible the impacts of the pandemic could continue for much longer.
Bustillos said the benefits of this vaccine far outweigh any of the risks.
“For the vast majority of us, the answer is, ‘yeah, you should take this vaccine,” he said.