STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet has just received his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday (May 13),the 57-year-old guitarist/vocalist, who lives in Massachusetts, took to his Instagram to share a picture of him holding up a card that reads "Thanks! For Getting Vaccinated" at Gillette Stadium after he got the shot, and he wrote in an accompanying message: "Second one down. I remember not being able to get from South America to Puerto Rico without a Yellow Fever vaccine a few years back. I got one in Brazil and had to show my vaccine card when I landed in Puerto Rico and when I got back to Boston. Nothing new. Been doing vaccines for years to travel. I've got a lot more traveling to do;-) And I'm tired of wearing a mask".
Last December, Sweet admitted that he was a little wary of the new, rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines. Asked in an interview with "Rocking With Jam Man" if he would get the vaccine once it became available, Sweet responded: "I don't know. To be honest with you, I'm not sure. It's one of those things where I wanna wait at least a little while just to make sure that they've got all the — for lack of a better way of putting it — bugs worked out. And I'll be honest with you too — I'm a little apprehensive, 'cause I'm one of those guys, whenever I get a flu shot, I get sick. So I don't do well with vaccines. And I'm a little concerned. I heard a story about someone in Brazil who got a COVID vaccine and they got sick and they died. Now, I don't know if that was related directly to the vaccine itself.
"I'm a little nervous about rushing out to get the vaccine, but I think in time I will most certainly get the vaccine," he added. "I just don't know exactly when."
More than 337 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and more than 264.6 million have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 117.6 million Americans have been fully vaccinated — 35.4% of the population.
A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get the shot. 49% of Republican men said they would not take the vaccine when it's available to them.
The U.S. has more than 32.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 583,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 160 million cases and 3.33 million deaths.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine was produced quickly because of the urgency of the health crisis and the number of clinical trial volunteers, scientists say the vaccine was not rushed, and it relies on years of research.
The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has estimated that about 70-85% of Americans would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
America's two main vaccines have shown 95% efficacy against the coronavirus.