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Rochester residents talk COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, vaccination progress appears to be running into issues with hesitancy and indifference.

"At the end of the day, it's in God's hands, I believe. I think people should be happy and go to weddings and go to graduations and go to sporting events and live their life as normal as possible," said Scott Knutson, a Rochester resident.

Other residents who are against getting the shot fear side effects, and are skeptical of the vaccines' ability to change the pandemic.

"Some people could get sicker with the shot, you know? Some people just might live, you know, live through it and maintain it, you know," said Rochester resident Laneice Bryant.

Residents who are choosing to be vaccinated say it's an added sense of comfort around friends and family was a driving force.

"Personally, I was somebody that was highly risk-averse, and after getting both vaccines and after surrounding myself with people that have had both vaccines, I feel more comfortable now knowing that they are vaccinated," said Kaylee Mtounas, a student and Rochester resident.

For others, choosing to get the vaccine leads to a safer and more stable working environment.

"I am a firm believer in independence of a person, but yet, in the COVID situation that we're in a workplace, it's important that you protect your other employees that you're working with. For job loss, if we should have to close down because of COVID coming through the business because you didn't get vaccinated. It's a team effort," said Charlie Brannon, Charlie's Eatery and Pub owner.

Even though opinions were diverse and varied from one person to the next, it was widely acknowledged that vaccination is a personal choice.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 tracking data, nearly one-third of Americans are fully vaccinated against the disease.

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Noah Caplan

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