Meanwhile, vaccine trials for COVID-19 proceed, and public health experts are taking a lot of deep breaths. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘When the vaccine becomes available, how do we scale up in such a way that the public trusts us?’” said Dr. Sykes. “Right now, we know that if early trials reveal high numbers of adverse events, then every subsequent vaccine will be viewed through that lens. We need trusted resources communicating with people—voices that aren’t being crowded out by conspiracy theorists and people who have other intentions at the heart of what they’re trying to say.”
Explore This IssueOctober 2020
To that end, it’s essential for doctors to dispel myths about vaccine dangers and, whenever possible, take the time to explain to patients how vaccines work, the great care that’s taken in developing them to make sure they’re safe and effective, and how successful vaccines have been in eradicating diseases such as polio and smallpox.