Since January 2, Appling County has 28 new cases of COVID-19, a rise of about seven percent since last week. The death totals are still sitting at 43.

So far only four million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered according to Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, but the effort is set to ramp up. People should be hopeful. “We’re using everything to get vaccines into arms,” he said. He says we’re still in danger though. As of Jan. 3, 350,000 Americans have died of coronavirus and many more are projected to die soon. The surge going on right now across the nation is a real beast to be contended with. He encourages people to help “temper this surge” to ensure everyone’s health.

Adams fears that even when it is easily available, the public might refuse it. Between 70 and 90 percent of Americans need to take it to reach herd immunity. Adams said that 60 percent of Ohio’s nursing home workers have refused the vaccine. He is worried at that. That the public is afraid of the vaccine even though the experts have declared it safe and effective against the new variant. The following passage from the Georgia Department of Public Health explains concern for safety: “Safety is a key concern among health officials and experts. Before the FDA approves a vaccine, the manufacturer must do rigorous research and testing to ensure the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The FDA independently reviews and verifies the information from these tests. It then decides whether the vaccine can be licensed and given to the public. No major safety concerns were uncovered in the FDA’s review of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. For each vaccine authorized by the FDA, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) carefully reviews all available data about the vaccine from clinical trials and other studies, and makes recommendations for vaccine use in the general public. Recommendations include groups that should and should not receive the vaccine, as well as the timing, volume, number, and spacing of doses in a vaccine series. The FDA and CDC continue to closely monitor vaccine safety after the public begins using the vaccine. Both agencies have longstanding and new safety systems in place for heightened monitoring of all COVID-19 vaccines.”

He asks citizens to talk with their doctors and think carefully about taking the vaccines.