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Some Minnesotans remain skeptical of vaccine

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Now that Gov. Tim Walz has laid out Minnesota's plan for COVID-19 vaccinations, what does the public think?

"There's a lot of confusion going on between who's the right information on what." Wyatt Kundert of Rochester said.

"It kind of just seems like we are getting good news, and then bad news right after," Rochester resident Jeremiah Byas said.

The people we spoke with Thursday aren't sure what they think about the pandemic, particularly the COVID-19 vaccine.

When asked if they would get the vaccine...

"To be honest with you right now, I'm not 100% sure, I'm kind of yes and no," Byas said.

"As far as the vaccination, no comment," Rochester resident Latoya White said.

"I have a few family members who have gotten the vaccine, I think it's good, personally I wouldn't [get it,] but I'm nowhere near the place I should be looking for it when it comes to health and age," Kundert said.

So why the skepticism?

"If the government was a lot more honest, maybe more people would be willing to take the vaccine," White said.

Studies have shown the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects Black people and other minorities in severity, mortality, and economics.

New studies show these same populations are most likely to say "no way" to getting the fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine.

"From history, it shows that a lot of things aren't given to us in our favor, so we are going to be skeptical," White said.

Misinformation on social media is also to blame.

"One of the first ladies who took it, she passed out on live tv. She kind of had everybody scared. There's another video going around, about how half of her face froze up and everything," Byas said.

Both of these posts have been debunked. The nurse who fainted on TV disclosed to a local news station shortly after getting back on her feet that she often passes out while getting shots. She said "It's common for me" and "I'm fine now." The social media post did not explain her existing medical condition.

The second viral video mentioned shows a nurse claiming the vaccine causes facial paralysis. Facebook has flagged this video. Turns out there is no record of this woman identified as Khalilah Mitchell ever being a nurse. The Tennessee Department of Health has no record of her getting vaccinated.

Despite this doubt, top health officials continue to echo one another in favor of the FDA-approved vaccines.

"The EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) vaccines as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, essentially show they are very good at preventing severity of COVID, so that is great," said Mayo Clinic's Dr. Abinash Virk.

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Kamie Roesler

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