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Why are many people hesitant to get vaccines?

Less than half of all Americans got the flu shot last year

ATLANTA — ATLANTA – As many America eagerly await a vaccine to protect us from COVID-19, many adults admit they’re hesitant to get vaccines.

There have been promising steps toward a shot that would help our body guard against the virus that has altered our way of life.

11Alive Morning Rush Insider Sherry Blair admits she won’t be first in line.

“I wouldn’t want anyone using me as a guinea pig,” says Blair. “With the flu vaccine, it took me several years to start getting it.”

According to the CDC, the overwhelming majority of parents are getting their children vaccinated. Last year, however, less than half of all adults in the U.S. got their annual flu shots.

Let’s look at why many people are hesitant or outright refuse to submit to vaccines.

Dr. L.J. Tan with the Immunization Action Coalition works to educate Americans about vaccines.

“We have such a strong approval and safety structure for vaccines in the U.S.,” says Tan.

Dr. Tan says people willing to take medicine when they feel bad may not be as eager to take preventive measures when they feel good.

“You perceive yourself as healthy,” says Dr. Tan. “Human nature will say, ‘why should I take the vaccine?’”

A recent report by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee states that parents who rely on the internet to do their research are more likely to be suspicious.

Myths about harmful side effects that have been thoroughly debunked continue to live on social media.

“A story does not have to be accurate to change behavior,” says Tan. “How often have you see something and just shared it without checking?”

Some question the effectiveness of vaccines.

 Medical experts say while vaccines aren’t a guarantee, they greatly reduce the risk of some illnesses while virtually eliminating others.

Dr. Tan helps instruct physicians on taking the time to address the individual concerns of each patient.

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