Wade Norwood is waiting for the phone to ring and his doctor’s office to be on the other end, telling him it’s his turn to receive a vaccine against COVID-19.
He didn’t always feel that way.
“I started this with the same fears, the same misgivings and the same trepidation as anybody else,” said Norwood. “I am terrified of a vaccine that is produced through a process called ‘warp speed.’ I don’t want a vaccine to come to me at warp speed. I want a vaccine that comes to me through thorough, deliberate, sound science.”
Norwood, as chief executive officer of Common Ground Health, was in the position to get information from doctors and other health professionals who looked like him and understood his concerns.
They explained that no corners were cut in developing the vaccine. Because of the urgency in stemming the spread of COVID-19, the vaccine didn’t get as long and as an extensive testing process that other medications go through before being available to the public. In fact, the COVID vaccines still haven’t been approved in the same way that the Food and Drug Administration approves other medications. The FDA allowed the vaccines under emergency use authorization because of the pandemic.
Norwood said he will take the vaccine to protect himself from the known short-term risks and the potential long-term ramifications of COVID-19. He said he doesn’t want to tell anyone else what they should do, but he wants them to have accurate information for their decision and he said individuals like himself are the ones to share that message.