Southwest Florida voices split opinion on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Posted at 8:30 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 11:29:54-05

FORT MYERS, Fla -- Downtown Fort Myers looks a lot different from many other downtown areas across the country because it doesn't have a mask mandate. A number of establishments do have their own requirements. But as people are out and about, it's typical to see some wearing them and others not. We wanted to find out if those feelings about masks, could be an indication of how people here feel about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine hesitancy is something medical experts tell our sister station they are dealing with. They're worried that if we can't overcome it, we could see a prolonged pandemic.

They say there are three broad reasons people are skeptical. Those include trust over if it's safe, fear that the vaccine has been rushed, and medical reluctance and mistrust in certain cultural communities.

In Florida, there won't be enough to vaccinate everyone at first. High-risk frontline healthcare workers and those at long-term care facilities will be prioritized.

One Fort Myers woman said that while she won't be first in line, she's hoping to get it soon after.

“I will get it. Not as the first one because, honestly, I want to see first how people react to it. But I will definitely get it because I have some problems so I think, for me, it’s important, I’m in the higher risk group,” said Daniela Bar.

We asked the same question to people on Twitter, and opinions were pretty much split:

She said another reason she'll get it is because not everybody in the community wears a mask.