In preparation for a COVID-19 vaccine, the government needs to be proactive in laying the groundwork towards the twin goals of simultaneously increasing the public’s awareness on the need to vaccinate; while reducing the potential implications of anti-vaccine propaganda.
While we do not yet know the exact impact of anti-vaccine propaganda on the public’s decision to vaccinate, the risk of even a minority segment of the population being hesitant and/or flatly rejecting vaccination attempts can severely undermine our efforts to create a national herd immunity towards COVID-19. In turn, this can have knock-on implications on our national economic security, and even on lives.
In moving forward, there must be acknowledgements that a majority of the population believes in the need for vaccines, and among those who do not, there are multifaceted causes behind their hesitancy. This necessitates a comprehensive, yet tailored approach inclusive of (1) public communications; (2) inoculation measures; (3) fact-checking; and (4) punitive legislation.
This policy brief makes the case for, and elaborates these four areas in addressing the problem at hand.