Some metro residents ready for coronavirus vaccine, but others say they’ll wait

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Kansas City Hospital beds fill up and mandates are strengthened, all eyes are on a coronavirus vaccine. One of the companies producing a promising solution said it now has the required data to request emergency use of the vaccine. 

It’s appealing to some, but not everyone. 

“I just don’t want to be a guinea pig,” Cassandra Conard said.

“It’s just better to get the vaccine than be in the hospital,” Megan Davis said.

In a tweet Wednesday, Pfizer Inc., a company creating the vaccine, said new results show the vaccine is 95% effective. 

Pfizer also said it’s safe and protects older people most at risk of dying.

The same day, Clayton Lewis’ wife tested positive for COVID-19. Still, he says “no” to getting the vaccine at this point. 

“It didn’t change either one of our views,” Lewis said. “She doesn’t want to get the vaccine. No one in our family wants to get the vaccine.”

Lewis said he’s not against vaccines in general. He and all of his kids were vaccinated when they were young. 

But for the coronavirus vaccine, he believes it’s just too early in the process to get it. 

“I’d be happy to get the vaccine once I see some full results and there’s no way you’re going to have any results from long-term side-effects for the next couples years,” Lewis said. “If somebody else want to get the vaccine, I fully support that so I can see what happens to you.”

Megan Davis is one of those people who want the vaccine. She’s studying to be a respiratory therapist, who fights COVID-19 on the front lines. 

She wants to get the vaccine as soon as possible, hoping to save lives. 

“A vaccine would go a long way in helping us build herd immunity without having as many deaths,” Davis said. 

A lot of important questions are still unanswered like, how long protection lasts and whether people might need boosters. 

The companies have not yet released detailed data on their study. 

Cassandra Conard will not take the vaccine right now. 

“I picture in my head an infomercial, you know, did you take the COVID vaccine in 2020,” Conard said, “If so call our law offices at, you know, because we just don’t know. Now I’m not saying I’m totally against a vaccine, but I’m not going to to be the first in line to get one.”

She’s a breast cancer survivor and said without knowing the long-term side-effects, it’s not worth the risk.

“I’ve had to put a lot of poison in my body to fight that and I just don’t want to put anything else in my body that could potentially hurt it in the long run. I don’t even take flu shots for the same reason,” Conard said.

In the next few days Pfizer and BioNTech plan to formally ask U.S. Regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine. 

Until then, these three agree: wearing a mask and social distancing is our best shot at beating COVID-19.

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