Stollings discusses importance of coronavirus immunization efforts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As West Virginia approaches one million residents who have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, a Boone County state senator is urging people who are not vaccinated to take such action.

Senator Ron Stollings, D-Boone, is also a hospitalist with Boone Memorial Hospital. He said during a recent appearance on “MetroNews Talkline” that most of his patients are getting the vaccine, yet there is a minority who remain hesitant.

Ron Stollings

“They still have general anxiety and fear,” he said. “I think they get tuned in by a lot of misinformation, so it’s a battle.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the country’s coronavirus vaccine supply is safe and a vital part of the pandemic response. The agency has reported side effects such as allergic reactions and blood clots, but such reactions have been scarce amid the millions of vaccine doses administered.

“It’s so rare,” Stollings said.

“Everything we do in medicine is a risk-benefit, and I truly believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

Multiple federal agencies are also monitoring the vaccines for safety and possible risks.

Stollings said physicians need to address the risk-benefit ratio with patients to keep active cases down. He added if most of the population is immune, it lowers the chance of future spread.

“It can come back,” he said. “If this thing doesn’t go away and if we can’t reach 70% (immunity), we’re going to be closing down sports again. We’re going to be closing down gatherings.”

The CDC recommends people 12 years old and older receive the vaccine.

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