STATEWIDE — Since the first COVID-19 vaccination was authorized for emergency use by the FDA, doctors have been stressing the importance of getting it as soon as it becomes available to you.
“The single best way for us to decrease the overall amount of virus in our communities is for a large number of the population to be vaccinated so that none of them carry the virus and spread the virus around,” said Dr. James Jarvis, senior physician executive for Northern Light Health’s COVID-19 response.
Although Jarvis said the majority of Mainers are not hesitant to get the vaccine, he said he believes people who are, have concerns about how new it is.
“These vaccines are incredibly safe,” Jarvis said. “The technology used to create them is not new. It is something that has been used already that we are very well advanced in doing.”
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said he thinks a lot of hesitancy comes down to trust.
“What we’ve tried to do over the past year, Commissioner Lambrew and I, Gov. Mills and others, is try to establish that trust,” Shah said. “Generating trust can’t be rushed. It’s a conversation. It’s not a campaign.”
Shah said he is encouraging people who have concerns to ask questions.
“If you’ve got honest questions, earnest questions about whether the vaccine is for you, whether it’s safe, whether it’s effective, raise those, whether by emailing Maine CDC, sending me a note on social media,” Shah said. “From time to time, we’ll try to raise those.”
Jarvis said he recommends getting whichever of the three vaccines you can access first.
“We know that all three of these vaccines prevent people from getting severe disease, prevent hospitalizations, and most importantly, prevent people from dying,” Jarvis said.