Trust in Covid-19 Vaccines Could Turn on a Knife Edge

By Lionel Laurent | Bloomberg

September 4, 2020 at 1:40 p.m. PDT

Finding a vaccine against Covid-19 that works and can be distributed widely enough to help stop the pandemic is a global priority. Given the urgency, governments are doing all they can to fund research and incentivize firms to ramp up trials — pre-ordering doses, lowering regulatory barriers to market and granting manufacturers immunity from costly future injury-related lawsuits.

But when does the scramble for supply start to look like corner-cutting?

Even in a pandemic as deadly as this one, public trust in a vaccine is vulnerable. A July-August Ipsos worldwide poll for the World Economic Forum found that while three in four adults were interested in getting a Covid-19 vaccine if it was available, only 37% had a “strong” interest in doing so. That’s a far cry from the estimated herd immunity threshold of 55% to 82%. The top two reasons cited for not wanting to take a Covid-19 vaccine are a fear of side effects and doubts it will actually work — not extreme “anti-vaxx” sentiment. […]


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