With the recent FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, we should expect to see an increase in vaccine mandates from employers and agencies who have had difficulty encouraging staff and affiliates to get the vaccine. After the approval, the military said they would require their active duty US troops to get vaccinated. That’s over 1 million people.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 30 percent of Americans said they would get the vaccine if it was approved by the FDA, but will this approval truly change the tide? A recent article in the Atlantic states that one in four Americans don’t plan to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and about half of Republicans under 50 say they won’t get a vaccine.
To truly change our abysmal vaccination rates, or at least make a moderate effort to increase the number of folks getting vaccinated, it’s important to expand on the communication shared about vaccine efficacy.
Urging those who have yet to get the vaccine is important, but the sharing of information is critical. Rather than, “See?! It’s OK, go get the shot!,” It’s important to continue to include data, statistics, and information about why the vaccine is the key to finally getting out of this pandemic (and also the awful alternative of contracting COVID).
Share reliable sources of information, encourage people who haven’t got the vaccine to speak with their doctor, and offer your support. The only way we are going to get this pandemic under control is if we reach an inoculation rate of at least 70-85 percent. According to Dr. Fauci, the US could have this pandemic under control by early next year if we’re able to ramp up vaccine administration.
It’s disheartening to think about how far we have to go to reach herd immunity, but we must continue to encourage vaccines and debunk the misinformation being shared about these potentially life-saving shots.