BOSTON (CBS) — It’s been three months since the first vaccination in the US and over a hundred million doses later, there’s no evidence that anyone has died from it.
But large numbers of people who can get the vaccine are choosing not to, even frontline workers. The Massachusetts State Police say nearly 30% of their personnel have been no-shows at special vaccination sites they set up. In the Department of Corrections, the refusal rate is 60%.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
And according to a new CBS News/YouGov survey, there’s an emerging political profile to vaccine hesitancy.
A whopping one-third of Republicans say they’ll pass, a significantly higher percentage than among independents, Blacks, or Hispanics, and more than triple the number of Democrats saying no.
What’s to be done about it? Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health professionals are casting a wide net. And grassroots appeals employing social media influencers have eased resistance among minorities, polling shows.READ MORE: Plainville Firefighter In Coma After Contracting COVID-19
But it won’t be easy to get conservatives on board.
That CBS poll found 61% of Republicans who remain skeptical of the vaccines still think they haven’t been tested enough, 48% fear the side effects, and 45% say they just don’t trust the government, period.
Dr. Fauci recently urged former President Trump to promote vaccination more aggressively, but it’s unclear how much of a difference that would make. The politicization of the pandemic took hold a long time ago, and its grip is strong.MORE NEWS: How To Get An Appointment When COVID Vaccines Open For Mass. Residents 16+
But what if businesses start requiring proof of vaccination from their customers? That’s already under discussion regarding international travel, and while the legal implications will need sorting out, it might be necessary to prompt enough vaccinations to make herd immunity a reality.