Misunderstandings about flu vaccines have existed for decades, leading to vaccine mistrust and lower-than-ideal vaccination rates. Now that a coronavirus vaccine appears to be close, experts are concerned that the lack of trust and understanding about flu vaccines could translate into lower-than-optimal coronavirus vaccination rates.
In fact, recent surveys suggest that many Americans would not get vaccinated for COVID-19; a Pew Research Center studyreleased in September reported that nearly half definitely or probably would not. The persistence of anti-vaccine sentiment, partly based on mistrust of vaccine ingredients, is likely contributing to the hesitancy.
The lack of trust is especially upsetting to public health officials, doctors and other scientists. The issue is especially irksome because a major reason for vaccine reluctance sprang from a debunked, retracted and outright false article.