Discussion: Coronavirus vaccine acceptance and public attitudes

The World
Updated on

Health authories are giving the go-ahead for the AztraZeneca after recent concerns over blood clots.

Spain’s health minister says the country will resume the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday and Germany is now ramping up its use of the AstraZeneca jab vaccine after authorities said it could be safely given to people age 65 and over.

The doses have been gathering dust in storage in recent weeks because of German restrictions on who could get the vaccine and misgivings among some who were eligible despite warnings from the World Health Organization about halting vaccination campaigns.

And in the US, where the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are already in widespread distribution, authorities are considering giving it to older people after they analyzed a US study that showed the AstraZeneca jab provides strong protection to all adults. Officials on Tuesday suggested that results from the US trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included “outdated information.”

But the recent news about AstraZenica highlights an element of concern about the vaccines.

Despite a seeming light at the end of the pandemic tunnel with the approval of several vaccines and the widespread rollout of vaccination campaigns around the world, there are lingering questions about vaccine acceptance among populations.

As part of The World's regular series of conversations about the coronavirus, reporter Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with Harvard public opinion expert Gillian SteelFisher, who discussed public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines.

SteelFisher drew from a recent examination of 39 polls on public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines and levels of trust about vaccine safety.