The year 2020 may be over, but the fight against COVID-19 is not. And if that fight is not hard enough on its own, pervasive misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are making a tough climb significantly harder.
Unfortunately, this is negatively affecting the number of people willing to take the vaccine. Common myths include beliefs that the vaccine was produced too quickly, developed with a lack of standard safety and trial protocols, is a vehicle for micro-chip insertion, or that it could produce side effects causing life-long disabilities. All untruths, but how to break through this noise with the facts? Even institutions like the CDC, NIH and the World Health Organization whose communications had always been universally accepted as unquestionable truths, now needed backup. Thankfully, the medical community has help in the effort to educate based on facts and scientific truths. Recently, tech giants have prioritized fact-checking and content review initiatives to counter the rampantly spreading falsehoods.
The recent publicized vaccinations of healthcare and bipartisan political leaders to demonstrate its safety, has helped increase the percentage of people likely to get the vaccine when available to them according to December 2020 Pew Research, but there remains resistance. The same Pew Research report found 39% of respondents said they definitely or probably would not get the vaccine when available to them. The staggered distribution is adding to the complexity of the COVID-19 vaccine efforts, though as time goes on and trouble-free vaccinations continue, we may find new-believers in the vaccine line
In addition to fighting inaccurate information about the vaccine, healthcare providers are also challenged to reinforce the importance of infection prevention precautions in a time when everyone is fatigued from stay-at-home orders and a lack of physical contact with friends and family. We cannot let our guard down now. Continued social distancing, hand washing, and masking can keep us safe until we have vaccinated enough people to achieve herd immunity. Consistent messaging from trusted science-and-evidence-based resources to help in these efforts is crucial at this time.
The Wellness Network is ready to support your continued education efforts to keep people safe and to vaccinate when it is time. Our Coronavirus Resources are up-to-date, patient friendly and growing to meet your needs. We have just added Covid-19 vaccine information to the library, including details on their safety and effectiveness, to help get us to the other side of this pandemic.
Truth is – we never faced a national health challenge like this, and we all need to work together to secure the health and safety of the public. We will continue to provide these assets at no cost to healthcare providers until we are through this crisis.
Share science-based information with your patient, learn more.
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