The Covid-19 vaccines distribution from Pfizer and Moderna is underway, and about one million people have been vaccinated. According to some healthcare experts, around 90 percent of the population will need to receive the vaccine to reach herd immunity.
Building Public Trust
Whether that will be achieved or not will depend on building trust with the public and listening to different communities and understanding their concerns. Healthcare officials will need to explain why getting the vaccine is so important and be open and honest about information related to the vaccine.
Several concerns need to be addressed; the most important being is safety. Older people may be reluctant to get the vaccine if they have to negotiate large crowds. Others who are most at risk from the virus may not get the vaccine because of reservations about its safety, mistrust of the vaccine producers, industry regulators, or health authorities. Younger people may not get the vaccine because they see no need to.
Because pharmacists are so accessible to the public, they will have an important role to play not only in administering the vaccine but educating the public about it and refuting all of the misinformation surrounding it.
Discovering Public Attitudes
Healthcare officials still are unaware of how much the general public knows about the vaccine, how they feel about it, what their hopes and fears are concerning it. Assessments of public sentiment about the vaccine must be carried out to determine people’s attitudes and beliefs about its safety, benefits, and supply.
Determining what these attitudes are will help to improve education and communication efforts about the vaccine.
Government entities need to realize that rational argument is not usually the deciding factor in convincing people to take a certain course of action. It is often how they identify themselves, their worldview, and social values that determine how they respond. Health officials need to talk to people in personal language to combat misinformation. Officials need to learn from people how vaccination accords with their own vision of their health and wellbeing.
Community leaders who are trusted by their neighbors need to give information about vaccination to ensure that promotion of it will be successful.
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