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Skeptics unmoved by FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine

'Scared of it,' says one woman in Heard County.

FRANKLIN, Ga. — COVID-19 vaccines have been a very hard sell for health officials in Heard County, which is located southwest of Atlanta on the Alabama line.

"I’m not getting it," said Tina Wilson of Franklin.

"I am anti-vaccine. I’ve just heard a lot of things on it," said Alexis Ford of Franklin.

Heard County has the lowest rate of COVID vaccination in north Georgia.

"It hasn’t been out long enough to be approved," said Catherine Price, speaking outside the Piggly Wiggly store in downtown Franklin, the seat of Heard County. 

Price was making a point frequently made by vaccine skeptics: That they don't want to use vaccines "rushed" into service without full FDA approval.

The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine Monday.

"They did? I still ain't going to take it." Price said. "I don’t agree with the way it come about. I’m just not going to take it."

"Nothing will change my mind. I’m not getting it," added Wilson.

RELATED: FDA gives full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

State data shows 50% of eligible Georgians statewide have gotten at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.  Heard County is roughly half that – 26% have gotten one dose there. Compare that with Fayette, two counties to the east, where 54% of residents have gotten one dose.

Heard County’s public health office offers vaccines in an office near downtown.  It stayed very quiet while 11Alive visited.

"I don’t believe what some people say, that 'it’s the devil,' 'mark of the beast' and all that – I don’t believe in that. It’s not that," Price said. "It’s just that for me, it’s not right for me."

Maxine Bowen said she doesn't care whether a government agency gave its full approval to the Pfizer shot.

"I don’t go for the vaccination. I don’t approve of it at all," Bowen said outside a Dollar General store. "I’m scared of it. I don’t know anything about it."

Wilson said "probably a few, at least" vaccine skeptics in Heard County will change their minds because of the FDA approval. But not her.