A Commentary on Managing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy
Department of Nursing, Chicago State University, United States of America
Dr. Rupa Potti, Department of Nursing, Chicago State University, United States of America.
Keywords: COVID-19; Vaccine Hesitancy; Vaccine Safety
Ever since the world has seen the first case of COVID-19 in December 2019, the disease has spread rampantly and continued to mutate causing millions of illnesses and deaths. The mortality rates around the globe startled and overwhelmed the political, healthcare, science, and research sectors in handling the effects of the virus. Though initially the virus was thought to affect the susceptible population in terms of age, comorbidities, and immune status, it has proved the thought wrong by affecting populations across the globe without any parameters. The initial stages of mitigating the illness were geared towards limiting the spread of transmission through masks, social distancing, travel restrictions, and lockdowns while clinical trials were underway for a more permanent solution by developing vaccines. The development and approval of vaccines within a short period which would otherwise take longer developed a lack of confidence, trust, and vaccine hesitancy among the population. The influence of political sections across the globe has further led to division among the population about vaccines. Due to the enormous mortality and morbidity, economic hardships at state, national and international levels, the restrictions imposed on the normal lives due to the virus, the only hope of restoration is the vaccinations. To achieve the vaccination rate to establish normalcy, emphasis must be placed not only the vaccine development and approval but also on handling the vaccine hesitancy among the population positively. This vaccine hesitancy can be overcome by establishing trust and confidence among the population through educational campaigns and transparent communication about the risk and benefits of vaccines along with the handling of the myths surrounding the vaccines themselves. The vaccine hesitancy also can be handled by informing the population promptly about the process of vaccination development and approval and handling of the side or adverse effects of the vaccine with a scientific basis.
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