Conspiracy theories and misinformation fuel mistrust in vaccines and could push levels that potential COVID-19 vaccines are taken in the United States and Britain below the rates needed to protect communities against the disease, according to a new study. The study of 8,000 people in the two countries found that fewer people would “definitely” take a COVID-19 vaccine than the 55% of the population scientists estimate is needed to provide so-called herd immunity.
“Vaccines only work if people take them. Misinformation plays into existing anxieties and uncertainty around new (COVID) vaccines as well as the new platforms that are being used to develop them” said Heidi Larson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-led the study.
The study comes as one of the major vaccine efforts showed promising results this week. Pfizer Inc said on Monday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective based on interim data from the late-stage trials. Will you take the vaccine when it becomes available? Some people say it is a “no brainer”, others are hesitant and yet others say ‘no’. It is really time to think about what you will do. I for one am thankful for all of these experts and their unending search for a cure. Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!