ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— Now that doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are rolling off the assembly lines and heading for our hospitals, will you roll up your sleeve and get in line? A group of top public health experts are trying to answer that question by studying public perception of COVID-19 risks and the vaccine.
Will you be getting the COVID vaccine? A National Science Foundation study suggests that many Americans aren’t so accepting. In a six-month span, the likelihood of respondents getting the vaccine dropped significantly, from 54 percent in May to just 39 percent in October. Lindsay Neuberger is an expert in health politics and communications at UCF who was part of the new study.
“Part of the hesitancy with the vaccine is people don’t know when it’s going to come. They don’t know if they’re going to be able to get it,” explained Lindsay Neuberger, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Central Florida.
While about 60 percent believed it will be available for many Americans in the spring of 2021, they had concerns about its safety, effectiveness, and availability.
“There’s a reason behind it. And now the thing is, how do we understand that and then use the knowledge that we have about how to build effective messages,” elaborated professor Neuberger.
Which sources of COVID information do Americans trust? Sixty-six percent of study participants said, scientists. Trust in Dr. Anthony Fauci rose from 56 percent in May to 59 percent in October. Local school systems and the local government fell in August and rebounded in October.
“If we have really trustworthy, credible sources that are available to people, I think that we will see a rebuilding of that trust over time,” said Professor Neuberger.
Professor Neuberger and fellow researchers have received additional NSF funding to look at vaccine perceptions following the election, and that study is continuing. A newly released survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds 71 percent of the public would probably get a COVID-19 vaccine, up from 69 percent in September.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Addlyn Teague, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer & Editor.