SUMMARY: There is a correlation between ignorance and poor health, but recent data indicates that there is also shown a correlation between red states and refusal to get vaccinated. This is a clear and present danger to us all.
Trump and many of his Republican colleagues have allowed a virulent anti-vaccine/anti-masking/anti-social distancing campaign to spread among their voters, reinforced by Fox News. A total of 17 of the 18 states that voted for Trump in the 2020 election have the lowest vaccination rates. The exception was Georgia which went for Biden by a minimal margin. The problem is that their ignorance is a danger to us all.
To make matters worse top Republicans are battling school districts in their own states’ urban, heavily Democratic areas over whether students should be required to mask up as they head back to school — reigniting ideological divides over mandates even as the latest coronavirus surge ravages the reddest, most unvaccinated parts of the nation.
It’s hard to understand what is going on here, although a lot of the blame falls at the feet of FOX News and Trump. Our education system obviously is not good enough to overcome ignorance of science.
I’m wondering two things; first, can any intervention change the minds of anti-vaxxers, and should the pharma industry band together to develop national messaging to get more people vaccinated?
Every day there seems to be a media story on someone who died because they were unvaccinated. Some people don’t care because “it was their choice,” but the millions of unvaccinated people represent a danger to us all. The longer the virus is allowed to spread, the bigger the chance it might mutate and become resistant to current vaccines.
President Biden is correct to mandate vaccines, but he needs to go further. Travel on airplanes or trains, for example, should not be allowed to unvaccinated people. Some physicians have refused to see unvaccinated patients, but I’m not sure that’s a solution.
The other possible side effect of all this could be the reluctance to try newly approved drugs. Will DTC marketers allow for the spread of false information on social media sites that spread 8x faster than accurate information?
What I do believe is that the pandemic will change the way we market drugs. TV commercials and a website are not going to be enough. We need to convince people to get into their physician’s office and ask about the product even though there tends to be a reluctance to try new drugs because of potential side effects.
As for the unvaccinated, every avenue needs to be tried to get them vaccinated including mobile vaccination sites. It’s past time.