Vaccine hesitancy becoming rising problem in the New River Health District

Dr. Noelle Bissell said ‘nothing is exactly risk-free’

NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. – There are signs of hope for the New River Health District as coronavirus cases continue to decline, but new fears are deterring people from getting their vaccine or missing their second dose.

For months, Health Director Dr. Noelle Bissell told 10 News not enough vaccine supply was the problem. But with more appointments vacant, she worries if the community will be able to achieve 75% herd immunity.

With a Brazilian COVID-19 variant now in Virginia, Bissell said it’s crucial to get the vaccine. However, with the state pulling the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Bissell said the fear of side effects is rising.

She said some people are neglecting to take their second dose because of this fear. But she said, “nothing is exactly risk-free.”

Rather, Bissell said people need to listen to trustworthy people like their physicians to understands getting a shot in the arm is better than not receiving one at all.

“We need to be able to engage with people in those smaller groups and even one on one to discuss any questions or concerns,” she said.

With plenty of time slots available, Bissell encourages people to go to the vaccine clinic at Dedmond Center in Radford Tuesday.

This is also ideal for people with mobility issues as they will offer drive-up services.

Another clinic will be held Thursday at Lane Stadium for both first and second doses for Pfizer and Moderna.

People can register for an appointment through the district’s website.

About the Author:

Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.