Vaccine Hesitancy with Dr. Abram Wagner

by Abram Wagner

In this video interview, we discuss vaccine hesitancy, first in measles as a historical backdrop, then for a potential or soon-to-be FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Abram Wagner, research assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan, joins us to discuss recent research on vaccine hesitancy. His research looks at evidence-based programs and policies to control vaccine-preventable diseases. He currently holds a grant from the National Science Foundation that looks at behaviors and acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine over time and across several regions, including the United States, India, and Taiwan. 

Key Points
  • The vast majority of people who have some degree of vaccine hesitancy are not staunchly opposed to vaccination
  • Vaccine hesitancy varies across time, geography, culture, and country 
  • “Pockets” of vaccine hesitancy may prevent herd immunity, even if 90% of the overall population is vaccinated
  • It’s possible that people will miss the 2nd dose of a 2-dose vaccine (e.g. Moderna or Pfizer’s vaccine)
  • Transparency on vaccine side effects is critical to maintaining public trust
  • An mRNA-based vaccine is a relatively new development, but RNA-based therapies (i.e. drugs) are not new 
Time Stamps
  • 0:08 Introduction
  • 3:33 Measles and vaccine hesitancy 
  • 4:29 The “fence-sitters”
  • 6:48 Vaccine uptake & measles outbreaks in small communities 
  • 7:52 What limits vaccine uptake?
  • 10:37 Spatial variations in vaccine uptake (measles)
  • 11:49 Spatial variations in vaccine uptake (COVID-19)
  • 12:57: COVID-19 in Detroit’s African-American population
  • 14:30 Vaccine acceptance among African-Americans
  • 14:56 Fence-sitters in COVID-19 vaccine rollout
  • 16:27 Pockets of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy 
  • 17:34 Variations in vaccine acceptance over time
  • 18:58 Will people miss their 2nd dose of Pfizer/Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 22:06 Record-keeping for adult vaccinations
  • 24:35 Public health messaging on vaccines
  • 27:57 Public health messaging on vaccine side effects
  • 28:45 Personal experiences with COVID-19 and vaccine acceptance
  • 33:03 International variations in vaccine acceptance
  • 36:31 Speed of COVID-19 vaccine R&D

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