Getting people vaccinated: Are we ready for the next pandemic?

Novel technology such as the mRNA vaccines increases vaccine hesitancy. But there is at least one way to overcome resistance.

A nurse administering the Pfizer booster shot at a Covid-19 vaccination and testing site in Los Angeles last month. PHOTO: AFP
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Not if but when the next pandemic strikes, the speed at which technology moves to produce a new vaccine will be one of our greatest assets. But one of our largest liabilities follows close behind - because of its very newness, people are likely to hesitate to take the vaccine.

In the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have already seen that people's reluctance to be vaccinated has been one of the largest public policy stumbling blocks. In the current pandemic, hesitancy has been mapped across the world: In a survey of 13,426 people across 19 countries, less than half (or only 47 per cent) reported that they "completely agree" with getting a Covid-19 vaccine.

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