UPDATED 6:10 PM PT – Friday, December 18, 2020
Top health officials work to address fears and skepticism surrounding the national vaccination effort by showing Americans that they’re not being asked to do anything they themselves wouldn’t do.
In a public event on Friday, Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence were vaccinated to show Americans the drug can be trusted.
At the same event, Surgeon General Jerome Adams also got the shot. He said he’s dedicated to fighting mistrust and misinformation to make sure Americans get the treatment they need.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) December 18, 2020
“It is not only okay to have questions about a treatment that you’re being offered, [but it’s also] normal and I want you to understand that,” Adams stated. “But what is not normal is to let misinformation or mistrust cause you to make a decision that is bad for your health.”
In an interview on Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar acknowledged people are reluctant to get the vaccine in light of ‘isolated incidents.’
Over the last few days, reports have detailed a handful of allergic reactions in some who have been inoculated.
Azar added the approved Pfizer vaccine, in addition to the Moderna vaccine, is ‘exceptionally safe.’ He emphasized the effort to pace out government leaders’ vaccinations and also noted he’ll be getting the shot himself next week.
Just received the safe, effective COVID vaccine following continuity-of-government protocols. Vaccines are how we beat this virus.
Now back to continue fighting for a rescue package including a lot more money for distribution so more Americans can receive it as fast as possible. pic.twitter.com/kSBhI3EzzM
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 18, 2020
“We’re just going to keep trying to get the word out there that all of us have complete confidence in the independence and quality of the FDA’s review process,” Azar stated. “That’s why you’re seeing the Vice President, the Second Lady and the Surgeon General getting vaccinated today.”
Recent polls show around half of Americans want to get inoculated as soon as possible. Additionally, around 63 percent of white Americans are interested in the vaccine compared to 49 percent of black Americans.
To boost confidence, federal health agencies and non-profits stepped up to spread the word.
According to recent reports, the Ad Council, who successfully promoted the Polio vaccine in the 1950s, is preparing a new coronavirus vaccine campaign set to debut in January.
“For us, this will be probably the biggest effort as far as size, scale and scope that we’ve ever undertaken,” Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer Michelle Hillman said. “We’re trying to help Americans get back to a better 2021.”
Ultimately, health leaders said they have supreme confidence in the vaccine and the approval process. They added that they trust Americans to make the right choice for their health.