Science alone cannot beat the pandemic. We also need outreach about a Covid-19 vaccine (STAT)


STAT | Americans anxiously await two key benefits that a Covid-19 vaccine will deliver: freedom from fear and a return to normal.

No single vaccine is likely to offer a panacea for this pandemic. And even if it did, it might not accomplish its job if we don’t deal with hesitance to get vaccinated and counter vaccine disinformation. By failing to do these things, we risk a perpetual cycle of infectious disease coupled with persistent economic decline.

Now is the time to make sure that all residents of the U.S. understand the value of a Covid-19 vaccine and the necessity of getting one.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccination conspiracy theories have flourished, fueled by a potent combination of fear, misinformation, and social media amplification. According to new polling data, among adults who have heard of one or more Covid-19 conspiracy theories, 36% believe it to be probably or definitely true.

At first, many health professionals dismissed vaccine conspiracy theories as outlandish and unbelievable. Yet additional polling data indicates 20% of Americans would outright refuse a Covid-19 vaccine and 31% are unsure as to whether they would get vaccinated.

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