More and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 across the U.S. In fact, 60% of Larimer County residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

Despite this, a recent CNN poll reports that around a quarter of adults are actively avoiding getting the shot. Reservations about the vaccine's development, side effects, and virus variants have all contributed to this hesitancy.

However, health officials say that while these concerns are understandable, they aren't necessary.

"These mRNA vaccines have been in the works for decades. It is really safe. We're only seeing severe allergic reactions in one in every 200,000 persons," said Dr. Ebony Hilton, practicing physician at the University of Virginia-Charlottesville, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "It is a really safe intervention and it's one that could keep you and your family alive."

Questions have also arisen about the vaccine's efficacy, particularly in regards to emerging COVID-19 variants. While research is ongoing, doctors have confidence that the vaccine can tackle these unfamiliar strains.

"Our vaccine is being proven to be efficacious against a South African variant, the Indian variant, the Brazilian variant, the U.K. variant," said Dr. Hilton. "The way we can get back again to this normal, healthy society is to vaccinate [and] to reach that herd immunity threshold."

Dr. Hilton also noted that fully vaccinated individuals are unlikely to spread the virus, calling the chances "almost nil to none."

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety by listening to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" with Dr. Ebony Hilton below.

The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.


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