PHOTO CREDITS: YAHOO NEWS
A newly released internal survey of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) showed that 55% of firefighters would not get the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine when it is made available.
The survey conducted by the Uniformed Firefighters Association sampled nearly 25% of the FDNY, making it generally reflective of the views of the entire department. Andrew Ansbro, president of the UFA, told ABC News that the numbers were “concerning” as currently over 200 members are sick with the virus. However, he reaffirmed the right of the firefighters to make the decision themselves, telling news reporters at a Sunday conference “as a union, we are encouraging our members to get the vaccine, but we are defending that right to make that choice.” Ansbro said he plans to receive the vaccination himself (FOX).
Oren Barzilay, president of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors union had a contrasting opinion. He told the New York Post “I personally am going to wait and see what the side effects are, what the independent studies show” before being vaccinated. This view of scepticism to a potential vaccine is matched by many in the general public, as was expressed in a November 30th YouGov poll where just 50% of registered voters said they would get a vaccine when one becomes available. Worth noting with all this concern to the vaccine is that many are simply waiting to observe possible side effects before being inoculated.
A recent report from Pfizer detailed that 6 participants in the vaccine trial died, however, Pfizer and the FDA have insisted that the deaths pose no threat to the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine, as only two people who died during the trial had received the vaccine, while four others had received a placebo. Other concerns about the vaccine were laid out in a CNBC article where several participants warned of severe symptoms after receiving the second shot. One trial participant detailed that after the second shot he woke up with chills, shaking so hard he cracked a tooth. “It hurt to even just lay in my bed sheet,” he said (CNBC).
Another concern was raised in a letter from head Pfizer researchers to the European Medicines Agency where it was stated that the vaccine blocks a protein that is key to the formation of placenta in mammals, and that it’s possible women who receive the vaccine could become infertile. As stated on the contrary, many major institutions and public figures such as the FDA and President Obama have assured the public that the vaccines are safe and should be taken to ensure the safety of citizens (Snopes).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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