FARGO — Some residents in the Fargo-Moorhead area rolled up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine right away. But others are still hesitant to get the jab, and some adamantly refuse to be vaccinated.
More than 45% of North Dakotans eligible for the vaccine have received at least one dose, and in Minnesota that figure is 50%. Both states are among those leading the country in administering the vaccine.
Local demand for the vaccine is steady, but supplies have begun to surpass demand, prompting health providers to offer walk-in opportunities for shots.
Through interviews on the street and online, The Forum took a sampling of residents' attitudes toward the vaccine, and got a range of responses.
Dana Peterson, 45, of Fargo
“I’m getting the vaccine this afternoon. I just moved to Fargo, and I waited in D.C. because higher-risk people needed it more. I had the virus in November, it wasn’t awful, but for me it may not affect me as much, but I’m watching out for the whole community.”
Jeremy Leichtenberg, 38, of Fargo
"I haven't gotten it yet. I'm mixed on it. I'd rather wait. There are two sides to every story, and everything is political these days. It's hard to believe when I have never even had the flu in my life."
Cloe Kilwein, 29, of Fargo
“I actually got my first dose a couple of days ago. I did it to protect myself. I don’t think I’ve had COVID yet, and I don’t want to get it.”
Jay Greenwood, 42, of Fargo
“I’m done with the shots. I had a sore arm, and I’m diabetic so my blood sugar went bonkers. Get the vaccine now. We can all hang out in groups more.”
Jaia Ram, 38, of Hillsboro, N.D.
"After doing my research, I have decided not to vaccinate. Some people will say this is anti-vax rhetoric. I can assure you it is not. It is our human right to choose what we want to put into our bodies. There is a lot of social pressure to take these vaccines, including from the Oval Office, but what we cannot fully comprehend are the risks these pose without long-term studies and transparency from the vaccine producers.
"Science is ever-changing, and the more we see, the less safe the vaccines feel (even from a distance). People are carelessly hoping this will be a permanent solution and treating it like a cure-all. I think it is still too early and statistically unsafe to take any of the vaccines that are out and I will feel this way until we have more data and accountability from the vaccine makers."
Willie Wright, 66, of Moorhead
“I’ve had both of the shots, about a month ago. This is just like polio when I was a kid. I got a sore arm. This pandemic, God is saying he’s tired of people acting the way they are. Get the vaccine and straighten your lives up. We’re in the last days.”
“I’ve had the first Moderna shot, and I had mild achiness for five or six hours. I don’t recommend everyone to get it, but it’s the only way I can fly and attend public events, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine."