'It's better than having COVID': Minnesotans weigh getting vaccine

An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. Health Officials are confident the FDA will authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week, but misinformation is prompting many people to decide early whether they’ll get the vaccine or not.

State officials are expecting final FDA approval by Friday and distribution shortly thereafter. Federal officials say some states will be distributing the vaccine within hours of that authorization.

While this first round will be going to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities, many are already planning for when it’s their turn.

While the general public is likely still months away from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, many have already made up their mind.

A majority of people asked around Minneapolis's Lake Harriet Sunday said they are for getting the vaccine, but some aren’t. One man said he plans to wait about a half a year to “see how it goes” before getting vaccinated.

One couple was split on the issue and one person, a frontline healthcare workers, said she had seen and risked too much to say “no.”

“Having the vaccination, even though we don’t know what the long-term effects will be, it’s better than having COVID,” she said.

Health officials have said again and again that no steps were skipped in the development of the vaccine. It’s simply that the red tape was lifted.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recognizes it’s going to take some convincing.

“The most important thing is gonna be as we progressively roll out vaccine to the people, the positive experiences that they have by word of mouth and reference are gonna be what really drive, I think, increasing vaccine confidence,” said Azar.

Public confidence, officials say, will be key.