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The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that 96 percent of practicing physicians in the United States are fully vaccinated. The survey was conducted the first week of June 2021, revealing the confidence doctors have in the COVID-19 vaccines available to all Americans 12 and older. Of those stating they were not vaccinated, nearly half of them indicated they would be receiving their injections soon.
AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD. proudly boasted:
Practicing physicians across the country are leading by example, with an amazing uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines. Physicians and clinicians are uniquely positioned to listen to and validate patient concerns, and one of the most powerful anecdotes a physician can offer is that they themselves have been vaccinated.
You can take it from your doctor: the COVID-19 shots are safe and effective. With COVID-19 vaccines readily available and approved for all people 12 years old and up, we urge you to get vaccinated—take the single most important step you can to protect yourself, your family, and end the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the survey, they were asked how to promote vaccinations for patients refusing a COVID-19 injection. Instead, medical professionals replied with frustration over the extent of misleading information about the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Of the many queries, doctors find themselves defending the COVID-19 shots’ safety. Unfortunately, people are bombarded with negative news and rarely see the lesser reported truth about a shot that can save lives. Fear about experiencing the negative side effects that are extremely rare motivates people to say no thanks to being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
During a recent Twitter conversation, Jon commented that she did not want to be a guinea pig in the global vaccine trials. But then, he asked, “How can the vaccines be safe when they were not approved?” In response, another person wrote: “Due to the extensive application process, the FDA determined the COVID-19 vaccines were safe, and health officials are closely monitoring the safety and efficacy of them.”
It is true, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded each of the manufacturers emergency authorization but not until after each meeting with an independent panel was subjected to rigorous months-long testing, finally a recommendation from the panel to the agency. Without the vaccines, the infection and death rates in the country would have continued to climb exponentially.
Even with this knowledge, as of July 14, at 6 a.m. EDT, only 160 million Americans, or 48. 2 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. The state with the highest number in Vermont, with slightly over 66.5, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention Control (CDC).
Massachusetts is in No. 2 in the ranking of 50 states and Washington D.C. with 62.79. The majority of states have between 50 and 60 percent of their population fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, the 51st ranking state is Alabama with only 33.4 percent, Mississippi, 33.5, and Arkansas, 35.
States with less than 50 percent are largely Southern states, where there is a deep distrust of the COVID-19 shot and subject to believing falsehoods to outright lies. Conspiracy theories are likely more commonplace in regions with lower percentages of residents fully vaccinated.
These people are the ones who doctors want to reach. So in October 2020, the AMA launched a “What Physicians Need to Know” webinar series to assist AMA members with a clear understanding of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, they provide tools to fight back against conspiracy theories and incorrect information about vaccine safety.
Nonetheless, anti-vaxxers and coronavirus deniers are very vocal about their feelings about vaccines. The AMA hopes the number of fully vaccinated physicians will sway those who do not want COVID-19 shots.
Vaccinating the majority of the country’s population is of utmost importance, especially with the highly contagious Delta variant. Health officials urge everyone to be vaccinated against COVID-19; President Joe Biden suggested offering shots door-to-door.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
American Medical Association: AMA survey shows over 96% of doctors fully vaccinated against COVID-19
American Medical Association: Physician COVID-19 Vaccination Study (Final Report)
Becker’s Hospital Review: States ranked by percentage of population fully vaccinated: July 15; by Katie Adams
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of erikenmeike’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Penn State’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License