Some ‘significant public messaging’ needed to make people take Covid-19 vaccine

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 14, 2020 Published on October 14, 2020

The study found that people are willing to take vaccines from some diseases but not others   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

People hesitating to take the vaccine can pose risks, says study

Before the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine, some significant public messaging needs to be communicated that can provide people assurance for the vaccine intake, according to a new study published in the journal Vaccines.

The researchers mentioned in their study that 68 per cent of respondents are supportive of being vaccinated for Covid-19. However, the majority population remains concerned about side effects, sufficient vaccine testing, and vaccine effectiveness.

Senior study author Brian Poole, a professor of microbiology and molecular biology at Brigham Young University, said in an official statement: “Messages promoting the Covid-19 vaccine need to alleviate the concerns of those who are already vaccine-hesitant.”

Vaccine hesitancy threat

He added: “Vaccine hesitancy is growing and the World Health Organization has already deemed it one of the top threats to global health”.

The researchers noted two factors that drive the most strongly predicted attitudes toward getting a Covid-19 vaccine. This includes their mentality towards vaccines in general and the gravity of the pandemic in the US.

The authors wrote: “Public health messaging regarding Covid-19 vaccination should be less about the individual need for vaccination and more about the country and how to get it back to where it needs to be. It also needs to address vaccine hesitancy head-on and demonstrate how vaccines are safe.”

Concerns over side effects

The study also stated that enough time should be taken to address concerns about both short- and long-term side effects before a vaccine is released.

According to previous research cited in the journal EurekAlert!, roughly 10 per cent of Americans are anti-vaccine (meaning they refuse to get vaccinated under any circumstance), but a growing number are vaccine-hesitant, roughly 10-25 per cent.

Vaccine hesitant individuals tend to want to “spread out vaccinations” and say they will get vaccinated for some diseases, but not all of them.

Ideology vs attitude

The researchers also found no causal relationship between political ideology and attitudes toward the Covid-19 vaccine.

Study coauthor Jamie Jensen, BYU professor of biology, said in a statement: “It is critical that we understand the potential barriers to vaccine uptake prior to the release of a Covid vaccine.”

He added: “By understanding these barriers, we can design publicity strategies that will speak directly to the potential issues and hopefully get out ahead of any public dissent. With a vaccine being the most powerful weapon, we have to end this global pandemic, the knowledge from this study is absolutely critical.”

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Published on October 14, 2020
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