COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern for researchers, health officials

A Gallup poll published August 7 found that one in three Americans would be unwilling to receive a coronavirus vaccine even if it were available free of charge. Meanwhile, a new Harris Poll found that roughly one-half of Americans said they would not receive a vaccine developed outside the United States.

A Gallup poll published August 7 found that one in three Americans would be unwilling to receive a coronavirus vaccine even if it were available free of charge. Meanwhile, a new Harris Poll found that roughly one-half of Americans said they would not receive a vaccine developed outside the United States. Kathryn Edwards, MD, scientific director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program in Nashville, says people may be concerned that safety was sacrificed to accelerate the vaccines' development. FDA has said that any COVID-19 vaccine must be at least 50% more effective than a placebo in preventing the disease, a benchmark commonly used for influenza vaccines. Edwards and other researchers say awareness and education campaigns should target the millions of Americans who are not necessarily opposed to vaccines but who also are not fully supportive of them either. Researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recently gave an educational presentation at a local church and heard concerns that people might be injected with the new coronavirus. "There are a lot of myths, and people don't get the right information," said Lori Crosby, MD, who is leading community outreach for the hospital's COVID-19 vaccine trials.