FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Like a broken record, health officials are pushing for the community to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Local doctors say it’s the best way to save lives.
Arkansas has seen multiple days of more than 1,000 cases and double-digit hospital trips in July.
Critical care physicians at the Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic, Allen Moseley and Lindsey Barnes, say the uptick mainly consists of unvaccianted Arkansans.
“You can not overstate the importance of vaccination in our only path forward with ending this pandemic,” Moseley said. “Roughly, 99.5% of all COVID deaths since vaccines became available were non-vaccianted individuals.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted a similar number about the state’s hospitalizations on Tuesday, July 13, saying since January, 98% of COVID-19 patients were not vaccinated.
“We care deeply about our patients, and it’s very saddening to see all these people in the hospital right now with a preventable illness,” Barnes said.
So why aren’t people getting a shot?
“We hear all sorts of reasons,” Barnes said. “We’ve heard concerns about infertility, that they’re implanting stem cells in you. I’ve heard people tell me they’re putting 5G chip trackers in you. That is false.
“I would say we understand and empathize with people being concerned about side effects, especially with the pace of vaccine development,” Moselely said.
Both doctors say to those hesitant to get a shot that skepticism is normal but don’t let misinformation get in the way of getting vaccinated.
“The vaccines have been in development for years and the technology that lead to their creation has existed but we didn’t really have a need until now,” Barnes said.
“It is absolutely FDA approved, it was just approved under the emergency authorization which means the FDA realized that we had a health care emergency,” Moselely said. “For that reason, they approved it very quickly. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be fully FDA approved very, very soon.”