(WTNH) – Most people in Connecticut who are eligible have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — which is just over 70%. But there are still thousands who refuse to get the vaccine.
Who are they, and why won’t they get the shot?
One is a registered nurse, who despite having seen the ravages of COVID-19 firsthand, refuses to get the vaccine.
Camile, who did not provide her last name, is a registered nurse at a major Connecticut hospital and worked in the COVID ward. She watched people suffer and die and even caught COVID-19 from a patient who died from it. Yet, she still refuses to be vaccinated.
“I feel just everything was rushed. I don’t feel there is enough evidence to make an educated decision on if the vaccine is safe and effective,” Camile said.
Keith Grant, the Senior System Director for Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare, agrees that the vaccine development was historically fast, but it worked, he said.
“Over 5 billion people have gotten the vaccine. The impact of the vaccine, if you look in Europe, they are now having soccer games. A soccer game in Europe is 100,000-plus people,” Grant said.
Camile has a vaccine exemption from her hospital, and she’s tested regularly. She has three sons who are all unvaccinated as well. Her 16-year-old son wants the shot, but she won’t let him get it.
“My 16-year-old has asked me several times, ‘Can I just get vaccinated,’” Camile said. “I said no. Until you are 18, [when] you can make your decision, but until that time, we’ll have more evidence and more knowledge.”
Camile said she is concerned about COVID and the safety of her sons, but she added, “They’re kids. I feel like they’d be able to bounce right back.”
Grant said not getting vaccinated is “playing the odds.”
“Most kids do very well with COVID-19, but you add vaccines to that and you add your mask and you add proper social distance, it puts you in a much better position,” Grant said. “And this is not a position that is preventing anything but death. That’s a big thing.”
Camile says for her, “it’s about freedom.”
“I think the government should not be able to tell us what to put in our bodies,” she said.
Despite her fight over getting vaccinated, Camile said her primary concern hasn’t changed.
“Our number one concern is our patients. No matter what,” the Connecticut nurse said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 58% of Americans have been fully vaccinated against the virus, and over 68% have received at least one dose.
The CDC says the COVID-19 vaccines are “effective at helping protect against severe disease and death from the virus that causes COVID-19, including known variants.”
“The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, which are rare,” the CDC said.