Transcript of video
Professor Omer, you have studied how to increase immunization coverage and acceptance of vaccines. You did it around the world. This is exactly your area of expertise. What is happening with the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines in the US and internationally? How to improve the vaccination rates against COVID-19? So that’s a really good question. There are two groups of people there. There are groups of people who are never going to accept the COVID-19 vaccine no matter what we propose. They oppose every vaccine, every vaccine. So they are a much smaller group. I’m not sure we can do much about them. But they’re, fortunately, they’re a much, much smaller group than the larger group, which had concerns about this specific COVID-19 vaccine, this specific set of COVID-19 vaccines. And the reason was that they wanted to make sure that the process didn’t cut corners. This was a new vaccine, and so on. The good news is that the data suggests that it’s a safe, effective vaccine, highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, for example—both of these COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized. And the safety profile has been good as well. And on top of that, while there was political pressure to move these COVID-19 vaccines in a direction that was not ideal by unnecessarily expediting things, the pressure didn’t work. There was pushback from career and other appointees at FDA, for example, to follow the mainstream process. However, it was done quickly, not done by cutting corners, but by finding efficiencies in the process. So these kinds of things need to be communicated. We need to build trust. We need to build trust in communities of color by engaging these communities more directly and then doing it at scale. That is a very important point about engaging the communities because what we have now is not only the damage from the Coronavirus from COVID-19 disease. But people with serious diseases, medical emergencies, even heart attacks avoid going to the hospitals because they feel they are very afraid of getting COVID-19 Coronavirus and dying in the short term.