One way is ensuring people see the facts and hear accurate messages repeatedly, Koltai said, which helps make them more effective. With researchers still learning more about how the virus works, vaccine plans to change day to day, and misinformation constantly arising, officials will need to be continuously addressing new myths and trying to reach residents in every way possible, Koltai said.
There is continued hesitation among Black residents when it comes to taking a COVID vaccine.
Among the questions heard: How would the vaccine affect someone that’s diabetic or has high blood pressure? Should they be worried clinical trials struggled to recruit Black participants? Is taking the vaccine another step for experimentation?
While overall confidence in a vaccine has risen to 60 percent, in a recent Pew Research Center survey Black Americans were the least likely to get one compared to other racial groups. Only 42 percent of those surveyed said they would definitely or probably get a vaccine. And they continue to be one of the groups disproportionately affected by the virus’ spread, in part, due to disparities in access to healthcare, jobs as essential workers on the front lines and more.
Across the country, Black and Latino Americans continue to be three times more likely than white Americans to die from the novel coronavirus.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines clinical trials only started in the summer of 2020, as a result, it’s not yet clear if these vaccines will have long-term side effects. However, vaccines rarely cause long-term side effects.
If you’re concerned, in the U.S., safety data on COVID-19 vaccines will be reported to a national program called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. This data is available to the public.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also created v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that allows users to report COVID-19 vaccine side effects.