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Experts warn against vaccine hesitancy

Researcher says about 30 percent of Arizonans will not get a COVID-19 vaccine
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:07 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 10:54 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Health officials battled vaccine hesitancy before the CDC paused the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. But local experts are encouraging people to not let this discourage trust in all vaccines.

“There is always a risk with every medication and every vaccine, there is never not a risk,” said Dr. Karl Krupp a University of Arizona researcher studying vaccine hesitancy. “The odds of one in one million are pretty good. You would not want those odds if you were trying to win a sweepstakes.”

Kruppa says right now, about 30 percent of Arizonans are not planning to get the vaccine.

“People want vaccines to be perfect and they aren’t,” said Kruppa.

He says the federal government is being cautious—afraid it’s going to feed the anti-vax movement.

“Anything that would confirm their worst fears, that’s really the problem,” said Kruppa.

“It shouldn’t scare us away from being immunized because the control of this pandemic relies on people being vaccinated,” said Dr. Steven Oscherwitz, an infectious disease expert in Tucson.

He is urging the public to continue to get vaccinated. Both experts say blood clots are common and can in fact be a result of being infected with COVID-19.

“I’ve seen COVID patients almost every day for the last year, the risk from getting blood clots from COVID itself is pretty high,” said Oscherwitz. “There’s a lot more in those people who actually get COVID than are vaccinated, the vaccine actually protects from blood clots.”

On top of the vaccines preventing blood clots, the experts say there could be another bright spot.

“Our safety systems are pretty good if they were able to pick up six people in seven million vaccines administered,” said Kruppa. “That’s something pretty incredible in itself.”

Oscherwitz says while it is rare, he says people should know the signs of blood clots, He says if you have headaches, aches, chills vomiting abdominal pain, vision or sensory changes you should call your doctor or go to the hospital.

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