Understanding COVID vaccine skepticism: It’s not all anti-science

vaccines families main kh bfd e ef e a b b c f e
Credit: Tim Lahan/NBC News

Even though vaccines have virtually eliminated the risk of many preventable diseases, there has been an increase in refusal and hesitancy over the past two decades. Typically vaccine refusal is most prevalent in wealthy, white areas, but polls that seek to understand the pending coronavirus vaccine indicate high levels of hesitancy and refusal among marginalized communities, too. In fact, these groups appear to be the most skeptical, with only a quarter of Black respondents and 37 percent of Hispanic respondents in the AP-NORC poll saying they would commit to getting the vaccine whenever it is available.

Considering that Black, Hispanic and Indigenous communities are at the highest risk of infection and are overrepresented in COVID-19 deaths, this result may look like a curious discrepancy. But it is not hard to understand these groups’ caution and, in some cases, their downright refusal to engage with public health recommendations when one considers the historical racism embedded in the fabric of the medical systems and the harm suffered at the hands of biased science.

Related article:  We need a quick, cheap test for coronavirus antibodies. It also needs to be accurate
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

The people and institutions responsible for designing the communication around the coronavirus vaccine have to consider this broad backdrop if we want to get COVID-19 under control. Validating the ways in which the American people, and marginalized groups in particular, have sometimes been misled, mistreated and misunderstood at the hands of “science” is the first step in regaining their trust.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend