My colleagues Phil Paleologos and Brian Thomas and I wondered on Tuesday how Chris McCarthy's bout with COVID-19 might influence listeners who perhaps had not made up their mind about being vaccinated against the virus. There was no shortage of opinions from the audience.

Whether or not you choose to receive the COVID vaccine is a personal decision. The media and politicians advocating for full vaccination should let people make their own decision. There is a full-court press to get as many people vaccinated as possible and considerable pressure applied to those who have yet to roll up their sleeve.

Some folks who were initially against the vaccine now say they will consider it after hearing Chris's very compelling story on my Monday program. Others are still adamant about not getting the shot. It's their choice.

I decided to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when it became available after considerable consideration and discussions with my doctors. They know my medical condition and offered me an informed assessment of the risks of taking versus not taking the shot. It was my choice based on the evidence presented to me.

Many people rely on cable network news to help them to decide the vaccine question. Don't let television talking heads influence your decision. Just as I won't tell you whether you should get the vaccine, I won't tell you where to go for advice. But if you ask me, I suggest that you shut off the TV, talk to your doctor and then weigh the risks involved.

Remember, if you chose not to get the vaccine, you can get it later date should you have a change of heart. Good luck with your deliberations, and stay healthy.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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