Dr. Gary LeRoy, associate dean at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and former president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said he hopes a vaccine becomes available that does not require a second dose because it will be difficult to get individuals to return.
“It always gets back to awareness and education so we have to make the community aware of why you have to have two vaccinations," he said.
LeRoy said distributors would need to keep registries and follow up with patients who don’t return for their second dose.
Polls have indicated half the country or more may be reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Jenkins said people should feel safe getting a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“Since they’re staggering distribution of this vaccine, we’re going to have people who are exposed earlier to it,” he said. “By the time it gets to the majority of the population, we should have a fair idea about safety.”
According to a plan released by the Ohio Department of Health in late October, the first individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio when one becomes available would include high-risk health care workers, first responders, older adults living in nursing homes and people with significant health issues.
The first group to receive the approved vaccine should also feel safe, Jenkins said.
“The FDA has made some pretty strong statements about how they’re not lowering their safety standards ... because if (an approved COVID-19 vaccine is) not safe, the chance of actually trying to contain the further spread of the pandemic with a vaccine are almost shot because you really undermine public confidence,” he said.
LeRoy said many questions still need to be answered. The state and the federal government have not yet made clear what institutions — public health departments, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, etc. — would distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.