By Jacob Maslow–Branded Content

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccine hesitancy is one of today’s leading health threats. Vaccine hesitancy began when the process of immunization started. This happened at the end 18th century when people were being vaccinated against smallpox. Since some people died after being vaccinated, this led to the outbreak of vaccine hesitancy. Another outbreak of anti-vaccination hysteria occurred when one study published in the Lancet in 2000 revealed a link between the MMR vaccine and a higher risk of autism.

The most recent episode of vaccine hesitancy is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people do not want to get a COVID vaccine as they do not trust it. However, other factors guide vaccine attitudes, and here is a list of some of them.

Efficacy and Safety Concerns

The COVID-19 vaccines are fully approved for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the FDA originally issued Emergency Use Authorization for vaccines because of a public health emergency based on the results of clinical trials that include thousands of participants. However, since the vaccines were developed and received the Emergency Use Authorization within a shorter period, than expected this has raised efficiency and safety concerns among people.

Preference For Physiological Immunity

There are two ways to achieve herd immunity – through previous infections or vaccination. However, many people have expressed their preference to obtain their COVID immunity via infection rather than getting it via vaccination.

Distrust In Healthcare And the Government

Trust is a key factor in gaining acceptance of a new vaccine. Many people have doubts about COVID spread, lethality, vaccination safety, and prevention. They are also exposed to different conspiracy theories that claim that the government created the new virus or that the virus’s lethality is exaggerated.

Actual Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines

In general, COVID-19 vaccines are effective (95% efficacy) and safe. However, there is also a shallow risk of any side effects. Moreover, the statistics show that even if people get COVID after being vaccinated, they will not have any severe side effects.

How To Convince People To Get The Vaccine

The best way to talk someone into getting the vaccine is to not focus on the existing myths and provide them with the facts. However, do not forget to ask their permission first before sharing information. If they agree, they will probably be more willing to listen to you. Also, always let them know where you get the information you trust. The most reliable sources of information are official websites, such as , cor the local health department website.

You can also ask your vaccine-hesitant friends or relatives open-ended questions to understand better what exactly they are worried about. Try not to sound judgemental to offend them, and always end a conversation on a respectful note. It is essential to let them know that you respect their decisions.

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Maslow//Cosmic Press