Laura J. Miller, MD, discusses Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and the downward trend in vaccine demand
Since April, Mississippi’s vaccination efforts have continued on a downward trend, with more than a 39 percent drop in vaccinations over the last two weeks.
Laura J. Miller, MD, a physician at Hattiesburg Clinic Prentiss Family Practice Clinic, spoke with WLBT about the decline in vaccine demand. Miller said the trends she noticed at her clinic were similar to what the rest of the state is experiencing.
“We’re starting to have to convince people or talk about why they would benefit from it,” Miller said. “We had the first big wave of everybody who wanted to get vaccinated, and then we had the stragglers. Now we have some people who want to be vaccinated by us directly.”
In an interview with Mississippi Today, Miller noted that one hurdle in getting people vaccinated was access to the vaccine.
“We can talk about educating people about the vaccine, but at the end of the day, access is first,” Miller said. “If I convince someone to get a vaccine and I don’t have access or a way to give it to them, that lessens their agreement to get it.”
ABC News reached out to Miller and asked about her strategy in encouraging patients to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The biggest thing is we ask their concerns, and we meet them there,” said Miller.
Miller said she explains to patients the side effects of the vaccine versus the side effects of contracting Covid – which could be deadly.
For those unafraid of contracting Covid, mostly young adults, Miller reminds them that if they want to go on summer vacation or attend certain events, the vaccine is their ticket out.
“As long as they agree to continue to consider it, I’m on board with that,” Miller said. “[The process to get more people vaccinated] is a marathon, not a sprint.”