Anti-vaccination movement could hamper COVID-19 vaccine acceptability in the masses and fail the vaccine and herd immunity!

As the momentum of the race to develop an effective and safe vaccine against coronavirus is picking up, so is the anti-vaccination movement. This movement has engulfed many countries and is more in the rich communities than the poor ones. It could negatively affect the drive to get people vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine when available and enhance the herd immunity against the deadly virus!

Covid-19 and myths and misinformation

COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and so are the myths and misinformation associated with it. When the virus struck the world, many people called it a hoax. They stated that one should not fear the virus and continue with normal lives. This led to the virus further spreading and infecting many people eventually due to this misinformation and ignorance about the virus and its virulence. Fatalities rose and people found themselves in difficult, trying situations.

Sputnik V vaccine [Source: Live Science]
And now as the race for the vaccine against COVID-19 is heating up, anti-vaxxer movement is also gaining momentum. They rationalize that the vaccine is a drive to control people worldwide and make them puppets. They add that it is a money-making business and not truly needed.

The anti-vaccination movement against COVID-19 vaccine

The anti-vaxxers movement is going simultaneously as scientists are trying to get a new vaccine out against COVID-19 is a matter of grave concern. Due to this anti-vaccination movement, more and more people are opting to not take the vaccine whenever it becomes available. At least 80% of the people should receive the COVID-19 vaccine for good herd immunity. And hence if more and more people start to decide to not take the vaccine, the dream of herd immunity against the virus would remain unrealized.

Also, read Sputnik V: the new COVID-19 vaccine from Russia! Experts skeptical of it but Russian scientists call their doubts baseless!

Anti-vaccination movement [Source: Willamette Week]
The rush to develop a vaccine is high and hence FDA and other licensing agencies are also giving faster clearances for the trials. This has also led people to get suspicious about the governments’ intentions for a vaccine. Also, the fact is that just before the coronavirus struck the world, some of the world power countries were fighting miserably with each other over trade and money.

The COVID-19 vaccine and the need of the hour

If the governments want the people to widely accept the vaccine, they should have more transparency about it. Research has shown that the new vaccine could lead to local redness and swelling. Additionally, it can cause fever and body aches. The concerned authorities should communicate this information to the people properly beforehand. Otherwise, they will get alarmed on finding that they are having these symptoms post-vaccination.

The anti-vaxx movement may affect the acceptability for COVID-19 vaccine when available [Source: The Guardian]
Dr. Katie Atwell, a senior lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia said:

“If we do end up in a scenario where the communications are not well managed, that could really put the rollout of the vaccine at risk. And then mean that governments have to look to more coercive policies which are going to be unpopular.”

“And they’re going to be more unpopular if more people are not on board with the vaccine. So it could be a very vicious cycle there and one we should try to avoid as much as possible.”