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Fear of vaccines isn’t new, according to Mayo doctor

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Doctors around America are seeing a drop in demand for COVID-19 vaccine. 

In Iowa, for example, 80 per cent of the counties in the state are declining to take new vaccine doses for next week. 

Many experts are trying to figure out why people are so hesitant to get their shots.  But this isn’t anything new, according to Dr. Gregory Poland, the leading vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic.

“Every single vaccine, with a couple of decade exception in the post-World War II time frame, has been met equally with this kind of hesitancy,” Poland tells reporters. He has researched vaccine use in the U.S. dating back to the 1700’s.

Poland says the spread of variants and the length of time since someone has already been infected with COVID make it dangerous to avoid being completely vaccinated. And he is dismayed that COVID-19 has claimed so many lives in the U.S., when the quality of health care in the country is so high.

“One out of every 560 Americans is dead of a virus we know how to prevent with a 25-cent mask,” said Poland. “How is that even possible, in the second decade of the 21st century, in a nation with more health care, more education, more of anything, than in the history of the world?”

Poland at Mayo is urging people to get the full doses of vaccine, because after one dose, a person is 80 per cent protected against the virus, but doctors aren’t sure how long that protection will last.  

Poland says the demand for vaccines is often “fickle,” depending on whether people get their medical information from scientists, or from politicians and celebrities.     

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.