Here’s why hesitant people decided to get vaccinated
IndyStar is making this story free to all as a public service. Please register to support our work if you can.
It took him several months, but Essence Hamilton got vaccinated against COVID-19 last week.
“More people around me who I know are getting sick,” Hamilton said, after being shot by Johnson & Johnson at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center on Friday. “I’m only 23 and, like, when I look on Facebook – ‘I have COVID’, ‘I have this, I have that.’ I’m fine… you can all share the crown. You can all have these club scenes. I’m fine. I have to protect myself. “
The 23-year-old Indianapolis resident could have received the vaccine in the spring when eligibility opened up to her age group. She finally reached her turning point and joined tens of thousands of other Hoosiers to get vaccinated this month.
“I have to protect myself because I have asthma,” Hamilton said.
But this realization took time. Like others, she initially juggled concerns about side effects, which can include fever and muscle pain. These are normal signs that the body is building protection against the virus, According to the CDC, and some people may not experience any side effects.
In addition to this concern, Hamilton says that half of his family do not want to be vaccinated. And then part of her delay came from seemingly small barriers – her aversion to needles, her hectic daily life as a fast food restaurant manager.
“Some days I might even forget to eat when I wake up… sometimes we forget like the little things in life,” she said.
This “minor” thing became a major decision of her life, both due to the delta-fueled push that took over her social media feed and wanting to set an example for her unvaccinated family members, including including his mother and his four siblings.
“I did it to push them,” Hamilton said. “That’s why I said ‘Hey, let the younger one be the example. Let me lead the way.'”
Others in Indianapolis have shown that the “family first” strategy works.
Jackie Edmonds, 32, had “considered” getting the vaccine, but she finally received her first dose at the transit center on Wednesday, just a day after his wife received her second dose, she said. Danielle Banyon, 56, was convinced after talking to her 73-year-old vaccinated sister in Florida. Tim Wilson, 58, was “on the fence,” but a trusted cousin in New York City shared her experience with the vaccination.
He spoke with “a lot of people” during his decision-making process, including friends and colleagues, but says that one conversation with his cousin was enough to change his mind. They are “pretty close” and “she’s a Virgo like me,” Wilson says.
“She strongly suggested that I get one, and so it was a turning point for me,” Wilson said, noting that her cousin had been infected with COVID in March 2020.
“She became honest about how she was feeling, the effect it was having on her,” Wilson said. “We talked about it again. She talked about (how) she got it, and it made me a believer.”
Knowing and trusting someone makes the difference, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported shown in July.
Among a group of vaccinated American adults who were initially reluctant or resistant to vaccination, 17% said they were persuaded by a family member and 5% said they were persuaded by a friend. A doctor or health care provider convinced 10% of people, according to the survey.
“On top of that, others cite protecting friends and family members as the main reason for getting vaccinated,” the Kaiser Family Foundation said. analysis states. “Being able to see their friends and family and being pressured or encouraged by family” also convinced some people.
Two-thirds of adults vaccinated also said they tried to persuade close friends and family members.
“The pandemic is serious,” said Kia Robinson, after being vaccinated on Wednesday. “You have people dying every day.”
Robinson says she was the last person in her group of friends to get the vaccine, mostly due to fear of needles and the possible effects on her health issues. Her sister, Bre Martin, convinced her with a simple but effective persuasion technique.
“I bugged them for a long time,” Martin said. “Go get the dagon thing – do you want me to keep bothering you?”
Relating to someone “face to face”
Demand for vaccination in Indiana has declined dramatically over time, but state health officials are issuing their call to action with just as much urgency. The state’s push will “worsen” if more Hoosiers do not get vaccinated, they said at a press conference. recent press conference.
“It’s incredibly disappointing to have effective tools like the COVID-19 vaccine,” state health commissioner Dr. Kris Box said on Aug. 27, “and that nearly half of our eligible population still refuses to obtain it. “
About 53% of eligible Hoosiers are vaccinated.
For those who hesitate, the decision-making process takes time, even with desperate appeals from public health officials. Even now, months after the vaccine was launched, Marion County Public Health Nurse Debra Porter says she is responding to questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.
And that’s okay, she said.
“It’s my responsibility,” Porter said. “At the end of the day, you need a human being with whom you are in a face-to-face relationship, and we are here to serve you.”
She says she noticed more people were coming due to fears surrounding the delta variant. Porter has also seen more parents get vaccinated alongside their children, she says, after eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine opened up to children between the ages of 12 and 15.
The official FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine in late August also appeared to have an impact, with state health officials announcing a 10% increase in vaccine appointments scheduled four days after the FDA announcement.
This has been a big factor for Tonya Bradford, who says she is more likely to get the vaccine now. She sees the value in being vaccinated, but says she is worried about side effects – although she notes that many of her family are vaccinated and that she does not personally know anyone who has suffered from it. ‘serious side effects.
But his skepticism is slowly waning. On a scale of 1 to 10, she says her probability of getting the vaccine is now 8.
“I come here all the time,” said Bradford, sitting outside the bright green Marion County mobile vaccination clinic, which will be at the transit center once a week this month.
“I was thinking about it.”