Why are Georgians hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines? Here are the top 3 reasons

ATLANTA — A new survey is giving insight into vaccine hesitancy in Georgia.

Channel 2′s Lori Wilson talked to Emory University’s Vice Chair of Epidemiology, Dr. Jodie Guest, about the three main reasons people say they haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

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According to a survey distributed by the U.S. census, 60% of people in Georgia who are vaccine hesitant don’t trust that the vaccine works. At least 57% say they are concerned about side effects.

Another 50% said they don’t believe they need a vaccine.

That third reason people are hesitating to get vaccines in Georgia is particularly relevant to younger people.

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“The third one in the state of Georgia is they don’t feel that they need it yet,” Guest said. “And that is particularly relevant for the 18- to 39-year-old population that we see in Georgia, which are really leading our case count.”

Guest suggests that maybe some of those people have recovered from COVID-19 and are relying on their natural immunities.

But Guest said data shows that even if you have had a natural COVID-19 infection, you might have some antibodies, but they don’t offer the same protection as the vaccine does.

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“You are two times more likely to become sick with COVID-19 again, unless you’re vaccinated,” Guest said. “So if we’ve got two groups of people who both had COVID, the vaccinated group is significantly more protected from getting the Delta variant than the unvaccinated group.”