Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination, and almost 140 million have received at least two doses, as of late April 2021. The numbers are encouraging and move us closer to beating this pandemic, but recent polls indicate that 1 in 5 Americans is unwilling to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The unwillingness of many Americans to receive the vaccine is causing researchers to believe the nation will not be able to reach herd immunity due to this hesitancy.
In order to end the COVID-19 pandemic faster, vaccine access must be increased globally. Vaccination pushes will only be successful if people get vaccinated. It has been demonstrated through vaccine rollouts in high income countries that vaccine hesitancy is a significant barrier for vaccine uptake, and there has been growing evidence that similar attitudes are prevalent in developing countries.
Healthcare Professionals' Vaccine Hesitancy to the COVID Vaccine:
It was surprising to learn that first-in-line health care workers resisted vaccination. The number of vaccinated LTC staff in Toronto's city-owned facilities has fluctuated between 43% and 91%, up from 9% in the community as a whole. 76% of France's 2000 LTC staff did not participate in the poll conducted in December intended to get vaccinated. 2300 health care professionals were interviewed in a German study that Half of nurses and a quarter of physicians refused COVID vaccines. Due to their professional training, health care workers are likely to be more scientifically literate than the average person.
There is a perception of dissonance implied by the "surprise.". The Deputy Minister of Health of Italy responded to the refusal of the COVID vaccine by Italian health care professionals as follows:
“When I hear colleagues disagreeing with getting the vaccine, I am perplexed. As far as the public is concerned, I can understand it, but if those doctors and nurses are still in doubt after seeing everything that has happened, I think they likely are not in the right profession.”
Leaders in health care should ensure health professionals have the same opportunities to get information, ask questions, and express concerns as the general population. Numerous health care organizations have developed "vaccine ambassador" programs. It is essential that these conversations are conducted with patience and kindness, beginning with the assumption that you are entitled to ask questions about the new vaccines. Vaccinating health care workers can be made equitable and responsive from here.
How to talk to someone about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy?
In the absence of complete vaccination of the United States, you have probably wondered, "How should I talk to hesitant friends or family members about getting vaccinated?" Stanford Medicine's health educators have written guidelines that will help guide those awkward conversations.
As part of this study, the team aimed to understand why some people are reluctant to adopt COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, or being vaccinated, as well as what they could do to facilitate better communication.
As of now, traditional messages - such as protecting yourself or others or telling kids to go back to school - aren't successful in convincing hesitant people to accept vaccines. People respond better to personal, empathetic conversation than statistics and facts.
SIDE EFFECTS: WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
The side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are the number one concern. Remember that side effects are a normal part of your body's protective mechanism. Depending on the person, they may or may not occur. However, just because you don't, doesn't mean your body is not building immunity. The same situation will result in different reactions from different people.
Among the most common side effects are:
● Having muscle pains
● Feels chilli
● Soreness in the injected arm
● Swelling or redness at the injection site
Usually, these side effects go away after 24 - 48 hours. Call your doctor if they last longer.
The following tips can help you manage these side effects:
● After vaccination, exercise or use your arm.
● Use a washcloth or ice pack to cool the injection site.
● Avoid fever, nausea, and chills before and after a vaccine by drinking plenty of fluids. As well as electrolyte water, it is beneficial.
● It is okay to take Tylenol or Motrin if you need to control symptoms after vaccination. Our goal is to make sure you receive the best possible immune response to the vaccine.
Is COVID-19 a safe vaccine?
There is no danger in using COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to millions of Americans under the best safety monitoring ever. An allergic reaction? Worried about it? There were no anaphylactic reactions within 15 minutes of vaccination in only 001% of people. To ensure safety, every vaccination site monitors people for 15 minutes after their visit.
Following a COVID-19 vaccination, severe side effects are extremely unlikely to develop. It is common for side effects to appear within six weeks after vaccination. To avoid this issue, the Food and Drug Administration required eight weeks of post-dose studies for each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
WHOM MIGHT I TRUST?
Vaccine information can be most easily obtained from doctors or health care providers, according to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. You can get your questions answered by talking to your doctor.
COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: Four Reasons
1. Efficacy and safety concerns
2. Favoring physiological immunity
3. Self-determination and freedom
4. Mistrust in the healthcare system and in the government
Facts That Fuel Vaccine Hesitancy:
It isn't a new phenomenon, and it isn't restricted to COVID-19. Several scientists gave a virtual TEDx talk last year about the growing issue of vaccine hesitancy. The question arises: why is there more skepticism about vaccines than ever before, even though a growing amount of scientific evidence suggests they are safe?
Prior to the FDA approving any COVID-19 vaccines, they discussed vaccination hesitancy and its impact on the ongoing pandemic effort. Now, we're seeing the consequences of it almost six months after it happened. One of the factors behind vaccine hesitancy is misinformation and disinformation shared on social media. The threat of the pandemic spreading further threatens the ability to end it.
Several powerful drivers are responsible for Truth Decay. The way we process information, make judgments, and make decisions is influenced by cognitive biases. We all experience these. For example, if we have an acquaintance who experienced vaccine side effects, we may value their story more than we value data from a clinical trial, simply because we trust that individual and see it as similar to our own.
The social and political polarization of society also has an impact. People tend to surround themselves with like-minded individuals, and to get their information from sources that support their beliefs. The result is that we create insular environments in which false narratives flourish, which make it increasingly difficult to correct misinformation or change minds.
A lottery and education are the most effective ways to tame hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccine?
Mass communication and community engagement are standard approaches to reduce vaccine hesitancy. In order to provide accurate information to the general public and build trust, this is clearly essential, but it could be improved on behavioral insights to make more effective on Take-up of vaccines. The truth is, people do not always make the best health decisions. Based on our research, it is important to consider entertainment media and lotteries in the COVID-19 response as scalable, low-cost and tested innovations.
In rich countries, many authorities are offering incentives to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, such as free beer or doughnuts. For countries with middle- and low-incomes, cash incentives are probably not affordable. However, vaccination incentives may be achievable if they are conditional.
Public attention is focused on high-prize lotteries. In Ohio, the governor has organized 5 weekly lottery drawings for vaccinated people to win a prize of $1 million, thus disbursing $5 million in incentives for an 11,6 million-member population. With the same amount, a cash incentive of $100 each could be targeted to only 50,000 people in West Virginia.
Lottery prizes are likely to be much lower than $1 million in low- and middle-income countries. Lesotho's HIV prevention lottery used much smaller prizes like $100 or $50.
Social media and education
The term edutainment refers to the placing of health messages in mainstream entertainment. In contrast, info-only campaigns sometimes fail to connect with individuals deeply. According to the World Bank, MTV Shuga's impact on HIV and gender-based violence knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors was associated with program immersion and emotional connections with characters.
Social media campaigns increasingly use this communication format, which has proven effective across multiple media and geographies in the HIV prevention space.
The Covid-19 SMS that included YouTube links of Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee increased symptom reporting, social distancing, and hand washing in India. It seems that the SMS had an important spillover effect even among those who didn't receive the message.
Behavior change campaigns should include edutainment and social influencers more frequently. COVID-19 information and misinformation are widely distributed through social media, and social media campaigns are relatively inexpensive. Therefore, social media should be tapped for usage in development.