Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy is rooted in mistrust – and recent events haven't helped

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(Photo: Pixabay)
(Photo: Pixabay)

As vaccination efforts for Covid-19 ramp up around the world, including in South Africa, misinformation and mistrust is fuelling vaccine hesitancy. Some of the claims that have emerged during the course of the pandemic is that the vaccines aren’t safe and effective, or that they’re toxic, dangerous or cause autoimmune diseases – all of which can have major implications for widespread immunity.

“We have been hit with a tsunami of misinformation,” said Professor Eftyxia Vardas, a clinical virologist at Lancet Laboratories during a virtual webinar on the ethics and legalities of vaccines and vaccination, hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright on Wednesday.

She added that a lot of the hesitancy has been based on the public's mistrust in science, the pharmaceutical companies, and the government, and that it has become an enormous challenge in getting people to take the vaccine.

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