Why Americans Fear the COVID-19 Vaccine

Government failure eroded public trust. Fact-based persuasion and brutal honesty about scientific uncertainty are the only way to win it back.

Full text and sources available here: https://reason.com/video/why-americans-fear-the-covid-19-vaccine/

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Six months into America’s COVID-19 pandemic, cases are surging, small businesses are faltering, playgrounds are empty, and unemployment is at 11 percent. Our best hope for ending this nightmare is a vaccine, and there are more than 165 in development.

But when a vaccine becomes available, how many Americans will refuse it?

Vaccines are the greatest health care advance of our time, preventing an estimated 4.5 billion infections since their advent. So what explains the reluctance of so many Americans to vaccinate? 

It’s a combination of bad science, the government’s long history of misleading the public, and the collapse of confidence in public health authorities because of their catastrophic failures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But if the government responds by attempting to force Americans to take a COVID-19 vaccine, it will only help the conspiracy theorists. Public health officials can begin to undo the damage of the past six months by rejecting authoritarian and paternalistic approaches in favor of careful persuasion and brutal honesty about the limits of their own knowledge.

Though most Americans surveyed say they’ll probably take the vaccine, there’s a real possibility that a sizable bloc of refusers could allow this novel coronavirus to continue spreading, based on what’s happened with measles, cases of which surged to record levels in America in 2019 largely due to pockets of vaccine refusal, which tends to happen in clusters, according to researcher Tara C. Smith.

“When you have some of these groups of individuals where vaccination rates are low, it just takes one person with measles to get in there and spread it through a community,” Smith says. 

Vaccine skeptics often focus on the claim that childhood vaccines cause autism, an idea endorsed by Donald Trump during a 2015 presidential debate.

This claim famously was amplified by a British researcher named Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 paper linking vaccines and autism was later retracted. The U.K. General Medical Council found Wakefield guilty of multiple ethics violations for lying about his test subjects and failing to disclose a financial link to an anti-vaccine lawsuit.

But concern about vaccines is rising among parents, along with objections to the use of mercury preservatives, which haven’t been proven to do harm and haven’t been present in childhood vaccines for nearly 20 years. 

An ecosystem of anti-vaccine information has emerged and, according to the American Journal of Public Health, bots and paid Russian trolls participate in online vaccine debates far more than the average social media user. The trolls don’t always join the anti-vaccine side of the debate but aim to elevate the visibility to “create false equivalency, eroding public consensus on vaccination,” according to the researchers.

“You have some people that really don’t know what to think,” Smith says. “And they’re really just trying to figure out, you know, what is going on? What do I believe? What do I trust? Maybe haven’t cemented their ideas about vaccination yet…Those people in the middle are the ones that I try to reach.”

But U.S. public health authorities have sometimes misled the public about vaccines and other public health interventions, which has made the job of convincing skeptics more difficult. 

Written by Zach Weissmueller. Motion graphics by Lex Villena.

Music credits: “Two Dogs” by Lex Villena, “The Hearse Song” by Rusty Cage and Lex Villena, “Interception” by Kai Engel licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Photo credits: COVID, ID 170845967 © Lemonadeserenade Dreamstime; Andrew Wakefield, News Licensing MEGA Newscom; Vaccine Sign, Riccardo Antimiani ZUMA Press Newscom; Syringe, ID 178915044 © Yuriy Mingirov Dreamstime.com; Syringe 2, ID 77735069 © Konstantin Nikiteev Dreamstime.com; Vaccine Protest, Stanton Sharpe ZUMA Press Newscom; Legislature, Roman Boed; Washington Square Park Protest, Joe Russo / MEGA / Newscom; US Health Officials, Abaca Press Pool Abaca Sipa USA Newscom

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Comment (46)

  1. Look at the history of failed vaccines and it becomes clear that a rush job is a major screw up waiting to happen. Even vaccines that take 10 years can fail, as happened to the HIV vaccine that held so much promise. Crashed and burned.

  2. If…….. You love gitting shots an whats in it that we dont know whats in it 😂 well wen you git it or were a mask what the HELL ARE YOU SCARD OF GITING ??????? THAN ???????? 😂 😂 😂

  3. This reminds me of the 1968 Mia Farrow film & 2.014 Zoë Saldaña TV miniseries "Rosemary's Baby", when a doctor or nurse, and others try to chase you, subdue you, and the doc/nurse whips out the needle and sedates you whilst being restrained. Biggest fear of that, mates.

  4. This video is just one big pile of BS!!! You have over a 99.9 % survival rate if you get covid! The shot, SHOT because it is not a vaccine it's just called a vaccine because if they call it that, they are not responsible for any side effects including death! If you take the shot you can still spread it and still have to wear a mask!!! THIS COVID scare is the biggest false flag that has ever been pulled on this country and its citizens! The DAME THING HASN'T EVEN REALLY BEEN TESTED, SO YOU CAN STICK IT UP YOUR ASS!

  5. That’s horrible they lied to people they can’t make up their mind what people need to do they wanted to protect health care workers but not other people that’s wrong that’s why people have lost trust

  6. It's called trust, history proves government lied causing millions to die. They know not to make mandatory, why ??? They would be hunted down and killed

  7. Relieve Therapeutics:

    Aviptadil, RLF100, renamed Zyesami
    A natural peptide already in our bodies. VIP, (vasoactive intestinal peptide), stops the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

    No needle, no vaccine, administered by IV or Inhaler. (presently there are 3 ongoing Inhaler trials in America and Europe)+ development of a dry powder inhaler for longer shelf life.

    FDA results for patients with worst case scenario:

    70-82% success rate for patients with severe COVID-19, with two additional diseases, in the hospital (ICU), on a respirator, with respiratory failure, with failure of all other COVID-19 treatments. Patients stay in Hospital ICU is cut by 50%.

    (Imagine the benefits of this treatment on a patient with a normal case of COVID-19)

    FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) & FDA approval coming very soon.

    Compassionate use information:
    In America,
    Contact NeuroRX.Com

    Relieve Therapeutics:

    Aviptadil, RLF100, renamed Zyesami
    A natural peptide already in our bodies. VIP, (vasoactive intestinal peptide), stops the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

    No needle, no vaccine, administered by IV or Inhaler. (presently there are 3 ongoing Inhaler trials in America and Europe)+ development of a dry powder inhaler for longer shelf life.

    FDA results for patients with worst case scenario:

    70-82% success rate for patients with severe COVID-19, with two additional diseases, in the hospital (ICU), on a respirator, with respiratory failure, with failure of all other COVID-19 treatments. Patients stay in Hospital ICU is cut by 50%.

    (Imagine the benefits of this treatment on a patient with a normal case of COVID-19)

    FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) & FDA approval coming very soon.

    Compassionate use information:
    In America,
    Contact NeuroRX.Com

  8. Relieve Therapeutics:

    Aviptadil, RLF100, renamed Zyesami
    A natural peptide already in our bodies. VIP, (vasoactive intestinal peptide), stops the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

    No needle, no vaccine, administered by IV or Inhaler. (presently there are 3 ongoing Inhaler trials in America and Europe)+ development of a dry powder inhaler for longer shelf life.

    FDA results for patients with worst case scenario:

    70-82% success rate for patients with severe COVID-19, with two additional diseases, in the hospital (ICU), on a respirator, with respiratory failure, with failure of all other COVID-19 treatments. Patients stay in Hospital ICU is cut by 50%.

    (Imagine the benefits of this treatment on a patient with a normal case of COVID-19)

    FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) & FDA approval coming very soon.

    Compassionate use information:
    In America,
    Contact NeuroRX.Com

    Relieve Therapeutics:

    Aviptadil, RLF100, renamed Zyesami
    A natural peptide already in our bodies. VIP, (vasoactive intestinal peptide), stops the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

    No needle, no vaccine, administered by IV or Inhaler. (presently there are 3 ongoing Inhaler trials in America and Europe)+ development of a dry powder inhaler for longer shelf life.

    FDA results for patients with worst case scenario:

    70-82% success rate for patients with severe COVID-19, with two additional diseases, in the hospital (ICU), on a respirator, with respiratory failure, with failure of all other COVID-19 treatments. Patients stay in Hospital ICU is cut by 50%.

    (Imagine the benefits of this treatment on a patient with a normal case of COVID-19)

    FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) & FDA approval coming very soon.

    Compassionate use information:
    In America,
    Contact NeuroRX.Com

    Relieve Therapeutics:

    Aviptadil, RLF100, renamed Zyesami
    A natural peptide already in our bodies. VIP, (vasoactive intestinal peptide), stops the replication of the COVID-19 virus.

    No needle, no vaccine, administered by IV or Inhaler. (presently there are 3 ongoing Inhaler trials in America and Europe)+ development of a dry powder inhaler for longer shelf life.

    FDA results for patients with worst case scenario:

    70-82% success rate for patients with severe COVID-19, with two additional diseases, in the hospital (ICU), on a respirator, with respiratory failure, with failure of all other COVID-19 treatments. Patients stay in Hospital ICU is cut by 50%.

    (Imagine the benefits of this treatment on a patient with a normal case of COVID-19)

    FDA EUA (emergency use authorization) & FDA approval coming very soon.

    Compassionate use information:
    In America,
    Contact NeuroRX.Com

  9. It's the way this "Pandemic" came about during Trump's last year in office. After everything else they used to try to stop him for 3 years. Now they wanna shoot us up with something. I just don't trust our government right now. They play too many games and don't seem to really care about the American people.

  10. It’s not fair that keeps us away from the job a.k.a. lethal injection, it’s called critical thinking and wisdom. You all should put down the fluoridated water and the crack pipes and try to grow two brain cells so that you can also apply critical thinking

  11. From what I understand a lot of people don’t “fear” A vaccine, they fear the rush to put it out there. It’s a different type of vaccine than in the past, it’s been rushed to market…Anyone with a brain cell should think about that

  12. When the doctors start prescribing probiotics after the antibiotics I’ll start trusting doctors again…they want you sick because they want your money anybody who says differently is being paid to say it

  13. The people who' are dien from vacine are dead so that's murder to the person who came out with this vaccine arrest em now!!! I rebuke saten in Jesus name il never take it.

  14. 6 Electrons=5G

    6 Neutrons=BEAST MARK. MICROCHIP. Either a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. Will come in the form of a implantable micro chip. First they'll desensitize you into getting an external mark.

    6 Protons=Vaccine. modeRNA When you swap the letters you get RNA MODE. Keep your DNA clean for JESUS or take your poison jabaru for Satan.

    When you put the 3 together. You have a mindless hubot. That has a chip implanted in their wrist that can be tracked through their 5G phone and towers and possibly zap the individual. The Vax and 5G are just there to weaken your immune system. Think outside of the box people. WAKE UP get to know JESUS accept him into your hearts. Remember the enemy comes to KILL. STEAL AND DESTROY. HE WANTS YOUR SOUL WATCH OUT!!!! TIMES RUNNING OUT WE ARE LITERALLY ONE AWAY. ALL THEY HAVE LEFT TO DO IS UNLEASH THE BEAST/MARK. 5G AND THE POSION VAX ARE ALREADY HERE. IF YOU'RE RIGHT WITH THE LORD YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THIS STUFF BUT YOU SHOULD BE INFORMED…

  15. We don’t fear the vaccine. We just see no point in getting an entirely experimental RNA vaccine when COVID has a .0001% chance of killing us. If the government forces us to take a vaccine I’d love to see how that goes

  16. this guy is lying. The vast majority of this is video false. Ya'll better do your own research because YouTube censor's all the true information but allows propaganda like this . This a sad situation for all the people that doesn't understand what's really happening today and truthful what has happened thought-out our pass.

  17. Do not take the poison Covid-19 Vaccine. Do not agree to Vaccine Passports nor voluntarily give out your Private Medical Information, as to whether you do or do not have a vaccine. Fight Mainstream Media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, etc.), fight the Satanic New Normal, fight the CDC (Big Pharma, Bill Gates), fight the WHO(Communist Chinese Party), fight Big Tech (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, etc.), fight Hollywood, fight the New World Order, fight The Great Reset, fight the Freemasons, fight the Illuminati, fight the Antichrist. Stand for Christ.

  18. My dad lives in fear of covid he stopped having a life locked himself in the house, wear his mask everywhere even alone and got the vaccine. He is now in the hospital fighting for his life, so what’s the point? I don’t fear Covid, I fear my government.

  19. This did me help me decide to get it.I am a wreak about to be social outcast for the rest of my life or get it and might have my health destroyed or even kill me.

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