Monday, January 24, 2022
Jasper L. Tran (George Washington University), Of Vaccine and Hesitancy, 77 Food & Drug L. J. (2022):
Vaccine hesitancy is as old as vaccine itself. Before COVID-19, the rate of vaccine hesitancy was miniscule and primarily — almost exclusively — attributed to religious reasons. People assumed — wrongfully in hindsight — this time would be the same. The public began asking when a vaccine could be ready almost as soon as the pandemic began. But the better question we should have asked, as we now know, is how many people would actually receive the vaccine when it becomes available? Every dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic has been politicized, from lockdown measures, masking, to the very existence of the virus. As with these issues, people were fractured over whether to be vaccinated, when, and with which vaccine. For instance, more than a third of Americans reported as of March 2021 that they remain hesitant about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Such an alarming rate of vaccine hesitancy prompts the research for this Article, investigating what makes hesitancy to the COVID-19 vaccine so widespread. Of particular interest is why racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates persist.