Battle for the Vaccine Hesitant

Vaccine hesitancy is a hurdle for achieving COVID-19 herd immunity

Battle for the Vaccine Hesitant As vaccine roll-outs gather pace around the world, vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a hurdle on the path to achieving herd immunity, with diverse communities proving especially vulnerable to misinformation.
In Australia, vaccine-hesitancy rates as high as 35% were recorded by Imperial College London in March 2021. According to Dr Rachel Heap, an intensive care specialist, people are taking advantage of communities with existing distrust of authority: 'It's marketing. So first of all, you find an audience with a pre-existing vulnerability to misinformation.' In the UK, people from South Asian backgrounds are more unsure about taking the vaccine than any other group. One factor is a language barrier. 'It was almost as if they were the last to find out everything', says Noreen Khan, a community leader in Bradford working to address people's concerns about the vaccine. 'The thing is, our communities are not hard to reach. No one has tried to reach us in the right way', she says.

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