WVXU reporter Michael Monks spoke to UC faculty members, Dustin Calhoun, MD, and Louito Edje, MD, for a Cincinnati Edition story discussing the process for COVID-19 vaccination in Cincinnati and hesitancy that some residents have in receiving that protective measure. Ohio residents age 65 and older, school employees and people with medical conditions that put them at high-risk will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in about two weeks.
Calhoun, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, told WVXU that the vaccine does an excellent job of protecting us from getting symptoms of vaccine. However, researchers and clinicians still don’t know if it keeps individuals from transmitting the virus to others. “Just getting the vaccine in their arm is not a ticket to taking the mask off yet,” says Calhoun, also UC Health medical director for emergency management.
Edje, associate dean of graduate medical education at the UC College of Medicine and UC Medical Center, discussed concerns so residents have when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccination. About 71 percent of Americans reported being willing to take a vaccine to protect against the pandemic in late November and early December, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation survey. Hesitancy was reported more predominantly among Republicans and African Americans.
Edje told WVXU that people tend to be hesitant for a number of reasons including concerns about side effects, worries about the pace of the vaccine’s development, and suspicions from communities of color because of dubious government-sanctioned studies impacting minority residents. “We need to come to the conversation with respect, the second is compassion and the third is patience,” says Edje. “These conversations won’t be single conversations they need to be multiple.”
(Calhoun starts .47 seconds into the segment and continues until 16:16 minutes. Edje speaks between 16:54 minutes and 33:27 minutes).