BOSTON — Right now, there is a whole population of people fighting to get the first COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.
“I’m getting it tomorrow,” said Westwood resident Debbie Weitzman.
However, in a couple of months, health experts say the tables will likely turn. Instead of scrambling to manufacture doses, the scramble could be to find people willing to receive them.
Once all adults who want the COVID-19 vaccine have it, the focus turns to the hesitant. While many think that’s mostly Black and brown folks, according to a recent Marist College poll, Blacks nor Latinos ranked in the highest demographic who said ‘no’ to the vaccine.
“A lot of that’s dealing with white republicans quite honestly,” said Georgia’s republican Governor Brian Kemp.
He agrees with the poll that the most hesitant demographics were white evangelical republicans who voted for former President Trump.
“Although the vaccine was, you know, started under the Trump Administration, you would think that would permeate, but we definitely found that in rural areas in the United States versus urban areas, there was a higher inclination to be fearful,” said What If Media Group’s CEO Josh Gillon after doing a similar poll and finding similar results. “If the government would give you $1,500, would you be interested in getting the vaccine, and what was fascinating to us is two-thirds of the people still said they were not interested. Then, we went further, and we found that republicans were much less inclined to get the vaccine than democrats.”
Some political and health experts blame former President Trump, arguing he spent much of the pandemic minimizing COVID-19 dangers and was notably absent from a vaccine ad campaign that features his four predecessors.
“They say the thing that has more impact than anything Trump would say to the MAGA folks is what the local doctor, what the local preachers, what the local people in the community say,” said President Joe Biden. “I urge all local docs and ministers and priests to talk about why it’s important to get, to get that vaccine and even after that until everyone is vaccinated to wear this mask.”
“I understand that it’s something that you don’t feel that comfortable with, but do you want to get sick? I mean it’s better than being in the hospital,” said Weitzman.
Former President Trump recently urged Americans to get vaccinated, saying he also got the vaccine privately before leaving office.
The White House says it has a $1.5 billion plan to address this, and we’ll all be seeing it soon. It includes television, radio and digital ads. Specifically, the campaign will target anyone who has a barrier to vaccinations, whether it’s access, apathy or outright skepticism.
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