05 Dec, 2020

According to recent polls, only half of America would agree to get the Covid-19 vaccine should it be available. To combat the phenomenon, a panel of scientific and academic experts published a list of recommendations for how to increase confidence in vaccines. Some of the recommendations include hiring community spokespeople and making it free to all Americans.

One of the more unusual recommendations offered was setting up vaccine stations at churches and synagogues. And although the document didn’t specify churches and synagogues, it did recommend using “places of worship” as “vaccination sites.”

The journal’s co-chairs included Emily K. Brunson, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Texas State University and Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who served in national advisory roles for the US government.

Another recommendation involved appointing influential messengers:including grassroots organizations, local health departments and “trusted community spokespersons” to “engage early and often with communities regarding Covid-19 vaccination” and to “neutralize” misinformation.

In what could be interpreted as frustration among the “health experts”, the document also said that “Baseline vaccine hesitancy and uneven access to care, coupled with current opposition to mask-wearing and physical distancing despite active COVID-19 disease, suggest that public health authorities need to rethink how best to manage the pandemic and to spur recovery.”