A better approach would be for a trusted figure to tackle the root cause of the hesitation – fear, mistrust, misunderstanding, easy access or a desire for more information, says Mary Politi, an expert in health and health communication decision-making at Washington University in St. Louis.
People often need to see others in their social circle embrace something before they are willing to try it, said Dr. Police. Emphasizing the benefits of vaccination in their lives, such as seeing a family member or sending their children to school, can be more motivating than the silly idea of herd immunity.
Although children spread the virus less effectively than adults, experts all agreed that vaccination of children would also be important in keeping the number of Covid cases low. In the long run, the public health system must also take into account infants and children and adults who age in a higher risk group.
Unnecessary scenarios remain on the road to this long-term vision.
Over time, if not enough people are protected, highly contagious variants can develop that can break through vaccine protection, land people in the hospital and put them in danger of dying.
“It’s the nightmare scenario,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.
The frequency and severity of these breakthrough infections have the potential to determine whether the United States can keep hospitalizations and deaths low, or whether the country will find itself in a “crazy war” every few years, he said.
“I think we’re going to look over our shoulders – or at least public health officials and infectious disease epidemiologists will look over their shoulders in time: ‘Okay, the variants out there – what are they doing? What are they capable of? ” he said. “Maybe the public can come back not to worry about it that much, but we will have to.”