BEAUMONT, Texas — A little more than a quarter of Southeast Texans over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. Jefferson County leads the pack with 34 percent and Newton County trails at 19 percent.
President Joe Biden wants 70 percent of Americans vaccinated by July 4, but our numbers are miles away from that goal. We’re looking into the reasons why we're struggling.
The state reports its lowest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in over a year.
The not so good news is only 44 percent of Texans who are 12 and older are fully vaccinated. One Beaumont doctor shares why he thinks people aren't getting the shot by July 4.
“I think Biden’s goal is just that; it's a goal. It's a point that any state or any city can reach for,” Dr. Msonthi Levine said.
President Biden wants at least 70 percent of Americans partially, if not fully, vaccinated.
“But he knows in making that statement that every locale is not going to reach that goal by the time he said,” Dr. Levine said.
With only of 44 percent of Texans vaccinated, it's safe to say Texas will not meet Biden’s goal. Dr. Levine said he's not surprised given how the US responds to vaccines.
“I can tell you way before the pandemic, we struggled to even reach 90 percent or 70 percent, getting patients to get common vaccines every single day, flu shots, the moon shots. These are vaccines that are proven to reduce the possibility of getting infected,” Dr. Levine said.
Dr. Levine details the top three reasons why people are hesitant to get vaccinated.
Reason one: They say the vaccine was rushed. Dr. Levine says that's false.
“They went through the proper procedures to proper process before they could get approval for this use of this vaccine, you hear the term emergency approval all the time. And basically, that means they prioritize this product, they cut through all the red tape,” Dr. Levine said.
Reason two: People have conspiracy theories about what's in the vaccine.
“If we start there, where we kind of, with the foundation of medicine, the foundation of government can do that to ourselves and gets us nowhere. We have to trust those people and take their word for it, unless there's something, obviously, that's wrong and we really don't have that,” Dr. Levine said.
Reason three: The vaccine needs to be more convenient.
"You're always going to have the limited response from an average American. So, you have to bring it to them and that's always been more successful as making it easy as I’ll come to you,” Dr. Levine said.
Dr. Levine says as we're getting more of a control of this virus, he hopes more people will soon decide to roll up their sleeves.
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