Vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. remains very high
due to confusion about how the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are classified, their inherent immediate dangers and unevaluated potential long-term side effects. Some segments of the population are also naturally distrustful of experimental medications due to historic injustices.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), the coronavirus vaccines circulating all over the United States are not actually "vaccines." Instead, they are known as "experimental biologic agents," or a form of gene therapy.
"The first vaccines they are offering us are not vaccines
. They are gene therapy products," said Dr. Christian Perrone, head of infectious disease at the Raymond Poincare University Hospital
in Paris. "They … inject nucleic acids that will cause our own cells to produce elements of the virus."
The vaccines that have been approved for use during the pandemic represent a departure from "traditional" vaccines that use a part of the virus in a way that is supposed to stimulate the immune system.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the vaccines have not been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration
. Instead, they have been given what is known as an "emergency use authorization," which allows "medical countermeasures" such as the vaccines to be used during "public health emergencies
." By law, these products should not be mandatory. Instead, people who use the vaccines must sign detailed and informed consent waivers before using them.
Dr. Jane M. Orient, writing for World Net Daily
, also points out that the data shows deaths in the vaccinated population may actually be higher than if they had contracted the coronavirus. According to analysts from Israel, during the country's five-week-long mass vaccination period, 40 times more elderly people and 260 times more young people died.
A similar trend has been found in Germany, where nursing home deaths in the two months after the vaccination campaign started are higher than in the previous year. (Related: Norwegian media says some people "have to die" from coronavirus vaccines as a sacrifice to humanity
Vaccine hesitancy in the United States remains very high, even among healthcare workers
According to a study conducted by Texas A&M University
, around 31 percent of 5,009 Americans surveyed do not plan to get the coronavirus vaccine
once it becomes available to them.
A similar survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a nonprofit dedicated to studying healthcare policy, found that around 15 percent of the American population "definitely will not get vaccinated."
A different KFF survey even found that only 52 percent
of people employed in the healthcare industry have been vaccinated, despite the fact that many of them spend their working hours with coronavirus patients.
The KFF study regarding healthcare workers surveyed more than 1,300 people, including doctors, nurses, housekeepers and nursing home aides.
Among the healthcare workers who remain unvaccinated, 12 percent said they have not decided whether or not they will get a coronavirus vaccine. Another 18 percent said they will not get the vaccine even if it is available to them.
The healthcare workers who remain hesitant have cited concerns regarding side effects and the speed at which the vaccines were developed. There may also be concerns over the long-term adverse effects of the vaccines, which have not been evaluated because of the swiftness of their development.
Problems with distribution have also uncovered a disparity between healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics and self-employed workers. The latter are significantly less likely to get vaccinated because of their inability to get a vaccine from their local health departments.
Racial disparities are also evident in the vaccination rates of healthcare workers. African American healthcare workers are more reluctant to get vaccinated because of historic distrust of the medical community. This skepticism is rooted in past abuses such as medical experimentation that still resonate to this day, including experiments conducted on Black women in the 19th century and on Black men in the early 20th century.
According to the survey, around 53 percent of African American healthcare workers are not confident about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. Across the general Black population, 47 percent of adults feel similarly and are naturally distrustful of the shots.
At this point, it remains to be seen if vaccine hesitancy will increase or decrease. But the number of vaccines circulating in the country will only increase, as the federal government just signed a new law that will help states fund their mass vaccination programs. The new bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, also provides the CDC with an additional $7.5 billion to spend on vaccine distribution and administration.
Learn more about why so many Americans are skeptical about the coronavirus vaccines by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news