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Should You Get the Covid Vaccine? A Lack of Trust Causes Vaccine Hesitancy

Should You Get the Covid Vaccine? A Lack of Trust Causes Vaccine Hesitancy

Now that the Covid-19 vaccine is available to every adult in the US, we need to discuss vaccine hesitancy and what the underlying cause for its existence might be. Most may people wonder why anyone would hesitate to take the Covid-19 vaccine? The answer to that question is complicated; it is a personal decision, and we must learn to respect their right to make that decision. However, our ability to put the Covid-19 pandemic behind us depends heavily on having a sufficient percentage of the population inoculated with the vaccine, so it is up to all of us to help dissipate the hesitancy without prejudice or judgement. While not an easy task, it requires an understanding of what may cause the vaccine hesitancy and flat-out rejection of receiving a vaccine in general. On the surface, there are potentially many causes which include religious beliefs, scientific misinterpretation, false news, sensational reporting of side effects, claims of historical racism, and unfortunately politics. Yet, the underlying cause is a lack of trust, and that is difficult to address because trust is personal.

Government advertising alone will not be sufficient because the majority of the mistrust is in government. The US. Public has lost so much of its trust in government officials and what they say. While I am not going to try to address these issues individually with examples, it's safe to say that it is real and it is hurting all of us in many ways.

The only way we are going to break the trust barrier is by engaging everyone in the effort of encouraging vaccinations. Having open conversations with our friends and family about the Covid-19 vaccine and sharing why we got vaccinated is one of the ways I am personally doing my part to expand vaccination efforts. There will always be those that do not want to be vaccinated and we simply have to accept that personal decision, but for all of those that are on the fence about receiving the vaccine hearing about it from someone they trust may be enough to sway them. One of the most powerful influencers may be religious leaders and trusted medical professionals, especially in the minority communities. The trust that has already been earned within their community will translate into serious decisions about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

In closing, we encourage our friends and family to get vaccinated as soon as they can and if you know someone who is not willing yet to do so, talk to them. Talk to people that have already had the vaccine, people like your friends and family, trusted medical professionals, and make the best personal informed decision. Do not let mistrust and misinformation keep you and your loved ones vulnerable and at risk.

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