Experts: COVID-19 vaccine could lose potential if most Americans refuse to take it

Posted at 6:43 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 21:15:22-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Southwest Florida epidemiologist says the 50 percent of Americans who are on board to take the approved COVID-19 vaccine isn’t enough to stop the pandemic. On top of that, he says the country may even need a new one in years to come.

Lee Health and Naples Community Hospitals (NCH) have already purchased freezers like this to store whichever vaccine gets approved.

University of Michigan Epidemiology Professor Dr. James Koopman has faith in both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that are currently in the last stages of testing. But, he doesn’t think they will have the intended effect on the pandemic overall.

“Reduce it, but we won’t get it under the control that we need to get it under,” he said.

He says that’s because not nearly enough people will take the vaccine. Some Fox 4 viewers shared on Facebook that they would get vaccinated; others said no way. A Pew Research Center Survey shows only 51 percent of Americans would take it.

“Old people like me are still going to be really hesitant to interact with anybody, because it’s still going to be a threat,” said Dr. Koopman.

He says the U.S. is in the middle of it’s second surge of COVID-19 as cases spike across the country. But, part two of the epidemic could come next.

“In the second year when you start getting re-infections that this phenomena starts to emerge,” he said.

He says that’s when the virus will evolve. People who contracted it may get it again and in that case a new vaccine would be needed.