Mississippians concerned about vaccine safety, side effects, & effectiveness, study shows

JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Department of Health officials urge people to get vaccinated and worry the message isn’t getting through to young people.

Results from a Mississippi COVID-19 vaccine confidence survey show, overall, people are worried about the vaccine’s safety, side effects, and effectiveness.

“The COVID pandemic is not over,” said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. “We have variants coming, we have a good number of people who are not immune, so we don’t need to give up the fight.”

Dr. Dobbs is urging people to get vaccinated, especially young people.

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He said currently, there is more vaccine supply than demand which isn’t surprising but is not good.

“We knew we were going to have trouble getting younger folks immunized. It’s the same thing with flu shots and other things,” said Dr. Dobbs.

The Mississippi Department of Health released survey results from a COVID-19 vaccine study.

It shows 73 percent of Mississippians are “definitely or likely” to get the vaccine when it’s available.

One of the study’s authors Dr. Victor Sutton is more concerned with another statistic.

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The survey shows only 52 percent of parents plan on vaccinating their children.

“We have to reach out to parents of those teens,” said Dr. Sutton. “We need to get ready to get them on board as we saw clearly from the survey that there is some confidence we have to do in that area.”

He said educating about the COVID-19 vaccine’s safety, side effects, and effectiveness is key.

“We are going to hit hard where we can, and we want to get all Mississippians to get in the boat and pull along with us in the same direction. It’s not time to give up,” said Dr. Dobbs.

Dr. Dobbs wants to emphasize that people should still get vaccinated even if they were sick with COVID-19 earlier in the year. He said the vaccines could protect you from other variants as well.