Millions of Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19. But millions more aren’t eligible yet or haven’t been able to get an appointment — or still aren’t sure whether they want to get the vaccine at all.
In a recent survey conducted by CBS News and public polling company YouGov, 22% of Americans said they had already received at least one dose. Another 33% said they planned to take the vaccine once it was available to them, and another 22% said maybe.
We traveled around Southern California — Whittier Boulevard, Echo Park, Huntington Beach, Santa Monica, Baldwin Hills and Hollywood — to ask people whether they would take the vaccine when it was offered to them, and if not, why.
We also asked them for their questions. Then we posed their questions to two experts: Dr. Paula Cannon, a virology professor at the USC Keck School of Medicine; and Dr. Heather Irobunda, an obstetrician and gynecologist who has addressed vaccine hesitancy with patients and her followers on TikTok (@drheatherirobunda). You’ll also see Jessica Roy, an assistant editor on The Times’ Utility Journalism Team, and Albert Brave Tiger Lee, a staff videographer. Here, along with people’s questions, is what the experts had to say.
Would doctors vaccinate their families?
Dr. Paula Cannon and Dr. Heather Irobunda talk about their family members receiving vaccines.
With eligibility expanding, here’s a collection of L.A. Times reporting on ways to get an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Which vaccine is the best?
Experts say you should take whichever vaccine you can get.
How long does it take after being vaccinated before I am protected?
Depending on which vaccine you received, you should give your body time to build immunity.
Now that eligibility is expanding to all California adults, we’ve put together a list of the different ways you can try to make an appointment to get a COVID vaccine in Los Angeles County.
Can children be vaccinated yet? Could vaccines affect fertility or pregnancy?
Clinical trials have begun to test the vaccines’ safety in children.
Do some vaccines have fewer side effects?
Side effects like a fever or aches are a sign that your body is building up its defenses to fight the coronavirus, experts say.
The side effects of a second shot of COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that it’s providing more vigorous, long-lasting protection against the coronavirus.
Will the vaccines work against virus variants?
Booster shots may be needed in the future.
Is pandemic our new normal?
Probably not, and we’re likely to learn some valuable lessons from this one.
Matthew Ballinger, editor of The Times’ Utility Journalism Team, contributed to this report.