Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy is Not Anti-Science.


Covid-19 vaccine

Recently, we’ve been hearing reports from public officials expressing confusion about why enticements have not reduced resistance among anti-vaxxers. Money, celebrity endorsements, and free beer have not changed the minds of those who don’t want the jab. We thought we’d try to help out by sharing some commonly held concerns. Next, we will summarize why incentives won’t reduce Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy.

8 Reasons Why Incentives won’t reduce vaccine hesitancy


Reason 1: It is incorrect to use the “anti-vaxxer” label on those with legitimate concerns.



Many of the people asking questions are pro-science and pro-vaccination. They take their health seriously and make informed decisions. Responding to their concerns with canned responses and free stuff will not help.

Reason 2: Celebrities are not trusted messengers.

Why would an intelligent person trust an actor or musician to inform important health decisions? Let’s follow the science and keep Hollywood out of it.

Reason 3: For some, a healthy lifestyle is non-negotiable.

People who actively manage their health with diet and exercise are less likely to take medicines with unknown long-term safety profiles. Doing so would violate closely-held beliefs on wellness. It is naïve to suggest enticements like money or alcohol could convince a health enthusiast to compromise her priorities.

Reason 4: The narrative around breakthrough cases doesn’t match reality.  

The messaging that fully vaccinated individuals who get breakthrough infections would have died without the vaccine doesn’t match up with data about the actual risk profile of Covid-19.

Covid-19 has a 99.85% recovery rate for those under 50¹. For most people, Covid-19 infection results in mild to moderate symptoms that clear up completely in weeks.

Reason 5: Using social media misinformation as a scapegoat won’t work.

Information hinting at problems with the Covid-19 vaccines comes from quality sources including PubMed, reports from drug developers, and from Emergency Use Authorization filings. Firsthand experience also plays a role. Data suggests critical questions need to be asked about safety and efficacy.

Reason 6: The long-term safety profile of the Covid-19 vaccines is unknown.

The typical monitoring period for a drug in clinical trials is 1 to 4 years. This gives researchers time to observe how adverse effects emerge over time.

The monitoring period for the Covid-19 vaccines was 2 months. That is not sufficient enough to understand long-term side effects or efficacy.

Reason 7: “Trust us” is not a sufficient answer.

History teaches us that public health officials are capable of making large scale mistakes. From asbestos, to opioids, to recent reversals on low-dose aspirin, it is clear that an informed public has an important role to play in shaping health policies.

Reason 8: The Covid-19 vaccines simply aren’t effective.

Every day, we see increasing rates of infection and hospitalization among fully vaccinated individuals. Many studies suggest immunity drops off significantly within 2-3 months of vaccination. For many, it seems illogical to take a vaccine that does not provide lasting immunity.










1. Figures sourced from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 11/9/21



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