Even amid promising results from multiple pharmaceutical trials, many Americans have expressed a reluctance to be among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
For his part, former President Barack Obama announced in a recent interview that he might “end up taking it on TV” to convince others that it is safe to get vaccinated against the virus, The Hill reported.
“I trust this science”
Pfizer and Moderna have both revealed that they are seeking emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after their respective vaccines were shown to be effective in extensive trials. The first vaccines are expected to be distributed to individuals in high-risk groups as early as later this month, according to Fox Business.
If White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the vaccine is safe, that is good enough for Obama.
When the vaccine becomes available for those in lower-risk categories, he signaled that he “will be taking it” and could do so publicly in a show of confidence.
“I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science,” Obama said, according to The Hill. “What I don’t trust is getting COVID.”
Through the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, these vaccine candidates were developed much faster than in response to previous infections. Despite assurances that the subsequent trials have been thorough and exhaustive, a Gallup poll last month found that about 42% of respondents would not take the vaccine.
“Absolutely I’m going to take it”
As Fauci warned, resistance to receiving the vaccine could hinder the greater goal of building immunity within the population. He noted that the “overwhelming majority” of Americans would need to be vaccinated in order for life to return to normal.
“As long as you are susceptible, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution,” he said in an interview this week, according to Newsweek. “When you are protected, you are another person the virus can’t impact.”
Obama says he trusts Fauci “completely” and will follow his lead.
“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” the former president said, as The Hill reported. “So if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting COVID, absolutely I’m going to take it.”
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have also indicated that they might televise their vaccinations in an attempt to allay fears, the New York Post reports.