Why Citizens Are Vaccine Hesitant
Covid-19 vaccine initiatives are rolling out all over the United States, and for some, it feels like a big leap towards how life was prior to the pandemic as they get their first dose of the vaccine. However, others aren’t quite ready to take the vaccine for numerous reasons. This has become a large hurdle to overcome in working towards herd immunity.
Before looking at the reasons behind why people are hesitant about getting the Covid-19 vaccine, it is important to first understand what vaccine hesitancy is all about. Vaccine hesitancy refers to people who are neither outright accepting nor refusing to take a readily available vaccine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) these individuals can be “influenced by factors such as complacency, convenience, and confidence.”
For many who are hesitant to get a Covid-19 vaccine, there are a plethora of reasons. In a study from Carnegie Mellon University the top reasons for this was a concern regarding the side effects of the vaccines, waiting to see how safe they are, and the belief that others need the vaccine more than they do. Still, many cited that they didn’t have trust in the government or in vaccines generally.
Tackling this issue is about much more than just trying to convince those who are hesitant about the vaccine that it is safe. More precisely, it will require a lot of trust and understanding between both vaccine-producing companies and those hesitant to receive the vaccine.
However, on a brighter note, as more evidence about the efficacy and safety of the vaccines so far, there has been evidence confirming that vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
The CDC, WHO and other organizations are working to overcome vaccine hesitancy; however, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your friends and family are getting vaccinated, if no prior health issues, such as allergies, forbids them to do so.
The CDC has listed the following steps to take in order to build vaccine confidence:
- Encourage family members, friends and community leaders to be vaccine champions.
- Start discussions with those who are vaccine hesitant to understand their viewpoint, share your own perspective and share newfound information.
- Help educate people about how vaccines are developed and monitored for safety.