BAR HARBOR — Why do some people refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Chrissi Maguire, president and CEO of Mount Desert Island Hospital, and Dr. Julius Krevans Jr., an internal medicine specialist at the hospital, were asked that during a discussion of COVID with the MDI Regional School System board on Monday.
“The number one reason that our team has been hearing is that the vaccine was rushed to market, and they don’t trust the science,” Maguire said.
“And there are women in child-bearing years who are concerned about the impact on eggs and fertilization.”
Krevans said that neither of those objections is supported by scientific evidence.
“It wasn’t rushed; it was expedited,” he said of the vaccine development and delivery process. “At every step, this was done appropriately. There were a lot of medicines that did not get approved last year.”
As for the risk to pregnancy or fertility, Krevans said that early on in the vaccine testing process, scientists asked themselves, “Do we give this to pregnant women?”
Then, he said, the thinking became, “Maybe it’s a good idea to give it to pregnant women.”
And now, he said, “Pregnancy and desired fertility is a specific indication (for giving the vaccine).”
Krevans explained that the COVID-19 virus grows well in blood vessels.
“And the placenta is one big cluster of blood vessels. It is a wonderful place for the virus to grow, and it results in either a loss or poor growth of the fetus and death of the mother.”
Krevans said another objection that doctors sometimes hear is that the COVID vaccine can cause life-threatening inflammation of the heart or the lining around the heart, both of which are more common in young males. He said a small number of cases of what is known as myocarditis and pericarditis have been linked to a COVID vaccine “out of the millions of kids who have gotten the vaccine.”
Krevans said many more young people have developed a serious heart problem as a result of having COVID-19.
“That’s why we hear about kids who drop dead on the field after they’ve had COVID and go back playing,” he said. “And people who have very prolonged recoveries and have no strength for months.”
Krevans told the school board that getting a COVID vaccine and wearing a mask are effective ways of protecting oneself and others.
“Choosing not to wear a mask is choosing to spread disease,” he said bluntly. “There is no medical reason not to wear masks. And we know that vaccinations prevent people from getting sick themselves and spreading it to others.
“There are places that have done very little to encourage and, in fact, seem to discourage vaccinations,” he said. “They are choosing to not do things that we know will save people. They are choosing to do things that will harm people.”