Source: Arjun Walia

In Brief

  • The Facts:Public health groups, including the World Health Organization, are making a concerted effort to reduce COVID vaccine hesitancy, as many medical professionals and minority groups remain doubtful about safety and efficacy.
  • Reflect On:Why is information about vaccines sometimes labeled by the mainstream as an “anti-vax conspiracy theory?” Why are concerns never really addressed properly and constantly ridiculed or unacknowledged?

It’s no secret that vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, even among many physicians and scientists. This has actually been observed for a while. For example, one study published in the journal EbioMedicine  in 2013 outlines this point, stating in the introduction:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts and science. These two dimensions are at the core of vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviours and attitudes varying according to context , vaccine and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

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