NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — According to experts, 80% of the population needs a vaccination to get to herd immunity, and with many still reluctant to getting the shot, there is work to be done.
A poll from The Associated Press says that a third of U.S. adults are still skeptical of getting the shot, and that within that third, 15% are certain they won't get the vaccine and 17% say probably not.
When it comes to herd immunity, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said we need about 80% of the adult population to be vaccinated and acknowledged that we've never done anything that comprehensive before. So, we have to reach out to those who are skeptical.
Reluctance to vaccines is nothing new to adults. Dr. Schaffner said that only two thirds of adults get the flu vaccine each year. He said we have to persuade people to do something that for many of them is quite new and different.
“I think it is a mix of things that make people reluctant adults to get vaccines, many adults don't get vaccines routinely, you know, of people aged 65 and older. Each year we vaccinate two thirds of that population against influenza. I said two thirds. That means one third of adults don't take advantage of the influenza vaccine each year. And so, you can see, we have to persuade people to do something that for many of them is quite new and different,” he said.
Dr. Schaffner said we can all help out by first getting the vaccine ourselves. He believes those folks will see everyone getting the vaccine and feel more comfortable that it's the normal and appropriate thing for everyone to do.
"Adults are not eager to get vaccines. Who wants a shot? Right, so we have to encourage them and make them comfortable with the notion. It's for their own protection and the protection of everyone around them. No one wants to be a dreaded spreader. And so that will help motivate people to come in and get vaccinated," he added.
Right now, the state reports that a little less than 11% of the population has at least one dose of the vaccine.