Metro Detroit doctors ready to help patients overcome vaccine hesitancy

Primary care physicians best person to convince those on the fence about vaccines, doctors say

CHELSEA, Mich. – Thousands of people are getting vaccinated every day across the state, but as we continue to try to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the role of physicians will be critical as we try to reach herd immunity.

Many people have only received vaccines in the past from their primary heath care provider, but since vaccine distribution started in January, doctors haven’t been the ones giving the COVID-19 vaccine.

READ: Michigan officials push for younger people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases surge

Dr. Steven Yarows, a doctor operating out of Chelsea, said his patients often ask for the vaccine after he reassures them, but his office doesn’t carry the vaccines. The government has said its more important to get them to pharmacies and mass vaccination sites before the doctors

We’re going to go through stages, as we vaccinate higher and higher portions of populations, where it will make sense for us to continue to watch where vaccines are needed, how vaccines are distributed, the best way to reach more people,” said White House senior advisor Andy Slavitt.

However, people who aren’t sure about the vaccine are less likely to wait in line for it. That’s what Yarows said he sees with his patients. He said when someone who is on the fence about being vaccinated, they’re more likely to trust and listen to their primary care physician.

READ: What the data says about how effective the COVID vaccine is in Michigan

Yarows said when doctors start giving out the vaccine, people who are less likely to go to pharmacies and grocery stores will start getting it.

“A lot of these people are elderly,” Yarows said. “They haven’t been out of the house and when they finally are convinced to come in for their routine care, some of them are very upset that we can’t give it to them.”

He said he gives his patients who are hesitant the following advice:

“Every doctor in this facility has gotten the vaccine because they felt it was safe,” Yarows said. “They did it for themselves and their family and we did it for your safety, too.”

Yarows said his office is expected to get vaccines by mid-April, while some offices in Wayne and Oakland counties are expecting vaccines before Saturday.


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