A recentCNN poll found that one-third of Americans say they wouldn't try to get vaccinated against COVID-19, leading Dr. Anthony Fauci to warn that such low vaccination rates would be "unlikely" to get the nation to herd immunity.
Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan told Boston Public Radio the messaging from government and public health officials needs to be focused on the safety of a potential future vaccine in order to build the public's trust.
"If you look at COVID, the government's policy is fast, warp speed," he said. "That makes people nervous. They think you're cutting corners. They think you're not going to get full data. They think Trump and the administration are so desperate to get this vaccine out it's not going to be proven safe. So I am absolutely sure what we should be saying is we want to go warp speed to a safe vaccine."
Another way to instill trust would be make the vaccine free, Caplan said, to quell any concerns about the pharmaceutical industry profiteering on the pandemic.
Art Caplan is the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair, and director of the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.