Just 63 percent of the nation’s residents have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, those who remain unvaccinated still leave a huge impact.
There has been a negative stigma around those who are not vaccinated and still choose not to, like professional basketball star Kyrie Irving. According to ESPN, he is currently not able to play in home games for his team, the Brooklyn Nets, and will not until he becomes fully vaccinated. While he still chooses not to do so, he is also said to be looked down on by teammates, coaches and spectators as letting the team down.
In Leon County, there are college students who are unvaccinated — the percentage is not known — and there are different beliefs as to why this vaccine may not work, some disreputable.
Some students say that the vaccine can create other variants, but the CDC says this is a myth. New variants occur because the virus that causes COVID-19 goes through natural mutation, like any other virus.
Another myth is that the vaccine contains microchips. The CDC also insists that the vaccine is not administered to track movement, but it works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies. There are many other beliefs that are constantly combatted socially.
The CDC also says those who should not get vaccinated are people who have had an allergic reaction after receiving the first dose, or an allergic reaction that would need to be treated with an EpiPen.
Tallahassee resident Jasiah Hayesl says he chooses to not get the vaccine because of the chance of still getting COVID-19.
“There is still a high chance of surviving COVID, so there’s no reason of getting the vaccine,” he said. “If I do get vaccinated, there’s still a chance of you getting COVID and passing it on to someone else, if it’s deadly or not, you are still catching it.”
While one can still catch COVID-19 after being vaccinated, the chances are greatly reduced, meaning one could avoid that trip to the hospital, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization.
There is also no set time on how long the vaccine could last once taken.
Some anti-vaxxers have spread misinformation about the vaccine on social media, which leads to some deciding to not get vaccinated.
FAMU student Yimyra Russell says she has received the vaccine because of the health issues that potentially come with contracting COVID. She noted that at FAMU, if you take the vaccine you can get money or a reward.
“I do not like how it is being forced on us to take the vaccine, if we don’t take it, we can lose our job,” she said. “If you do take it, some places offer a free handgun, gift cards and food. That’s so degrading to our people.”
President Biden has offered a $100 incentive for those who get vaccinated, but this has left more with questions about why the vaccine is being “pushed” so hard, and with such incentives. The hope is to motivate people to get vaccinated but might have just done the opposite, according to National Public Radio.
More companies are implementing vaccine mandates, and it can become more of a challenge for citizens to travel, keep a job, or even eat at local restaurants if they are not inoculated.