Even though COVID-19 vaccines are reaching the arms of millions of Americans, vaccine skepticism still exists in large swaths of the American population.
Recent headlines have shown vast numbers of firefighters and medical workers unwilling to get a shot. And trust for the vaccine remains low in Black and Latinx communities. Reasons for reluctance go anywhere from fear of aggravating pre-existing conditions and historical distrust of federally distributed treatments to misinformation.
A late January survey by the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that nearly half of unvaccinated Americans are uncertain to get the vaccine mainly due to side effect concerns and patience for more data about the safety of the shot. Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano chronicled vaccine skepticism in his own family in a recent story, writing about how his father’s “stubborn country macho” mentality contributed to his vaccine denialism.
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Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times columnist covering Southern California; his recent column is “My dad was a COVID-19 skeptic. But he got vaccinated, and so can your ‘pandejos’”; he tweets @GustavoArellano
Dean Blumberg, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital