Will you get the COVID-19 vaccine when it's available? Here's what doctors say to do

Posted at 10:08 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 23:57:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Medical experts say they expect to see a COVID-19 vaccine ready no earlier than the end of this year or the beginning of 2021, but will you choose to get the vaccine once its available to you?

Doctors say your answer to that question could impact the worldwide fight against the virus.

The final phase of COVID-19 vaccine testing is well underway. With so many people to vaccinate once its ready, doctors say the vaccine won't roll out to everyone all at once. But some say even after they’re eligible to get it, they’ll still hold off, with concerns over how quickly the vaccine will have been tested and produced.

Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center says that will pose a challenge in the fight to finally beat COVID-19.

"Clearly if people withhold themselves from vaccination, that will give more opportunities for the COVID-19 virus to keep transmitting and making illness, so that will slow down our attempt to flatten the curve and provide protection in our population," Schaffner said.

Shaffner says because the future vaccine will have been produced much quicker than any other before, some degree of cautiousness is good, but he says people should be paying attention to what medical leaders say about the vaccine once it's developed.

"If we, the doctors, have real confidence in the vaccine, and if we ourselves get it, that ought to be a great level of comfort and reassurance to the general population," Schaffner said.

And Shaffner says there will still be much to learn even after the vaccine rolls out, which he says means, you still should keep your masks on, even several months after an expected vaccine is available into the new year.

"We’ll all have to be wearing masks and social distancing for a very long time, even those of us who get vaccinated," Schaffner said.