What happens when people refuse to be vaccinated?

Here’s a disturbing fact: By May 2021 the US is projected to have more vaccines than people willing to be vaccinated. “A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine outright if it were offered. Another 5 percent are ‘undecided’ about whether they would get the shot. Although the numbers were highest for Republican men and residents of rural areas, there were still a significant number of people across all ages and demographic groups who claim they will say ‘no.’”

This raises two questions: (1) Why won’t they agree to be vaccinated? And (2) What is the potential problem this hesitancy will create?

  1. The reasons boil down to the belief that some people are supposedly having “life-threatening reactions” to the vaccine that we aren’t hearing about in traditional media, and that these vaccines are so new the long-term effects are still unknown.
  2. The potential problem is that this reticence will be enough to prevent the nation from reaching herd immunity, the point at which the coronavirus can no longer spread easily through the population and transmission peters out.

For more on this subject, check out the full article on NPR.