Like the second part of any good pandemic movie, the chase is on to synthesize a coronavirus vaccine to save future generations from the nightmare of having to homeschool their wiener kids. But now it turns out that most Americans are decidedly "meh" about getting a needle full of vaccine anyway, and that distrust may not be towards the vaccine, but towards those so keen on administering it.
While the vaccine stork is still far over the horizon, a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicates that only 49% of Americans would be willing to get jabbed even when it arrives. Out of the 51% unwilling, 31% are on the fence while 20% downright refuse. And since scientists believe we'll need 60 to 80% of the population on board to achieve herd immunity, the infection safety threshold that keeps the objectors' immunity system from being introduced to Darwin's balled fist, that's too many wishy-washy Americans for us to ever enjoy the luxury of not having to wash our hands twenty times a day.
The reasons given as to why so many Americans are anti-vaccine sounds all too familiar. Seven out of 10 corona vaccination critics worry about its potential side effects, while four out of 10 believe they'll get Covid-19 from the shot despite most vaccination efforts not even utilizing trace amounts of the virus. That's the same kind of anti-vaxxer Facebook post thinking that turns countless little Tylers and Kaylins into ticking timebombs of measles and polio all across the Midwest.
But while it's easy, logical, and immensely satisfying to put all the blame of this anti-vaccination stance on the same suburban moms who refuse to inoculate their labradoodle out of fear of giving them doggy autism, a deeper look into the AP's data possibly shows a different kind of distrust. While the average anti-vaxxer tends to be older, white and liberal, those least likely to get a coronavirus vaccine skew younger, Republican, and black and Latinx, with only one in four African Americans willing to entertain any coronavirus solution that involves the words "government" and "shot."
So instead of looking at this reticence as an anti-common sense issue, it might be more of an anti-authority one. Between witnessing how the U.S. government is bungling of the coronavirus outbreak, billionaires getting even richer off the plague, and the fact that Minneapolis is on fire right now, trust in our 'betters' having our best interests at heart is at an all-time low. Maybe it's not unreasonably that many underprivileged Americans aren't keen on participating in the government's Operation Warp Speed, the unreasonable promise of 300 million cases of vaccines by late 2020 even if Trump has to pour sugar water into all those syringes himself. Maybe the vaccine side-effect they fear most is being sent back into an Amazon warehouse to literally be worked to death.
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Top Image: Pixabay/Liz Masoner