What is the deal with COVID vaccines? Dr. Jernigan addresses SMN readers’ concerns

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout is in full swing, and while many people rushed to get their shot at the first opportunity, others say they still have questions and will wait for a vaccine — or won’t get one at all. 

Signups slow for vaccine appointments

After months of working breakneck speed to clear an ever-expanding backlog of people waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, local health departments are reporting a marked slowdown in signups, even though only about 30 percent of the population has received at least one shot. 

The facts on the vax: Survey shows widespread support for COVID-19 vaccination

More than 80 percent of Smoky Mountain News readers have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and less than 10 percent say they’ll refuse altogether, according to the results of an unscientific survey conducted by SMN from March 24 through March 31 of this year. 

COVID-19 vaccine means getting back to ‘normal’

People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, according to the CDC. This includes gathering indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask, gathering indoors with unvaccinated people of one household without wearing masks and traveling within the United States without COVID-19 testing or quarantine. 

‘I don’t feel like it’s safe’: For many, concerns about long-term impacts drive vaccine hesitancy

When the pandemic first hit, Waynesville resident Sammie Conner was so scared of contracting COVID-19 that she wouldn’t even go to the grocery store. As a 56-year-old woman with COPD, among other health issues, she knew she was a prime candidate for a poor outcome, so she sent her husband to do the shopping. 

Vaccine hesitancy could impact employers, employees

The last time Americans lived through a global pandemic, the field of employment law wasn’t nearly as developed as it is today. That’s led to an overwhelming number of unanswered questions surrounding the rights and obligations of both employers and employees when considering the massive COVID-19 vaccination effort currently underway. 

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