Lawmakers, medical professionals calling for confidence in coronavirus vaccine


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As two coronavirus vaccine trials slowly move closer to approval, doctors and politicians are working to prepare the public to get a vaccine once it’s ready. 

The number of Americans willing to get a vaccine has steadily fallen in recent months, a concern for everyone trying to end the spread of the coronavirus. 

On Tuesday Senator Rob Portman announced he’s part of a vaccine trial, and says it’s the way to get the economy back to normal. 

Dr. Jeffrey Weinstein, the Chief Quality Officer for Kettering Medical Center, says, “COVID is killing lots of Americans, and if you don’t want to die, or you don’t want your mom or dad to die, you’re going to get vaccinated and you’re going to recommend your parents get vaccinated.” 

Getting a coronavirus vaccine once it’s available should be an easy decision, according to medical professionals and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. But many are facing an uphill battle trying to convince people it’s necessary to stop the spread of the virus and get back closer to normal. And it will still take time. 

Dr. Weinstein says, “It’ll take at least six months or longer before everyone is able to get a dose of the vaccine if they want it.” 

If they want it is the key. In a press call Tuesday, Senator Portman announced he’s participating in a vaccine trial. He hopes to convince others to also get the vaccine. “We’ve got a huge problem in Ohio right now. Some days are better than others, but the reality is the trajectory is not good.” 

Senator Portman cited a Gallup poll that showed only half of all Americans are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. “I’m very concerned about people’s willingness to get vaccinated. The numbers are very concerning.” 

Epidemiologists say 70% or more of the population needs to be vaccinated before herd immunity is reached. But Dr. Weinstein says there are other pressing issues the medical community must tackle while waiting for a vaccine. “The real thing that concerns me is just this exponential rise we’re seeing in many parts of the country right now. In Ohio we’re getting close to being at capacity.” 

Dr. Weinstein said hospital capacity is a critical concern once again as COVID cases soar to record highs in Ohio. 

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