Ending the Pandemic Hinges on Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy
“On May 8, 1980, the World Health Assembly issued an official declaration,” says Susan Dubuque of NDP: “‘The world and all its peoples have won freedom from smallpox.’ Global eradication of this disease through vaccination is considered international public health’s biggest achievement.
“Fast forward to 2021. We’re once again in the clutches of a worldwide pandemic with more than 450,000 deaths to date in the U.S. alone. Effective and safe vaccines are now available, yet an estimated 27 percent of the public remains vaccine hesitant — that is, individuals who say they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine even if it were available for free and deemed safe by scientists.
“As health care marketing and communications professionals, we are challenged to help our associates, patients, and community citizens understand and accept the importance of vaccination to wrangle COVID-19 and ultimately save lives.”
“To contain COVID-19,” says Jeanine Guidry, Ph.D., “we need to achieve ‘herd immunity.’” Guidry is assistant professor at the Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University,
“Unfortunately, the notion of herd immunity is surrounded by much confusion and controversy. Most simply stated, herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just the people who are immune.
“Vaccine hesitancy is not new, but in this age of social media when anyone can be a content creator, we are dealing with a tsunami of information and misinformation,” explains Guidry. “The first thing people hear on a specific topic is typically what they cling to as truth, and the misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine has been making the rounds for 10 months before a vaccine was approved and became available. Lots of time to generate myths and spread fear.”
Read Dubuque’s full article now to learn how health care marketers can help fight vaccine hesitancy:
Start Your Online Access Today
Not a member yet?
Sign up for a FREE trial membership »
And don't forget: Once you've signed up as a member, you can add up to 9 colleagues for no additional charge with our Group Membership Upgrade. It's an incredible value.