More than 150 million Americans—over half of U.S. adults—have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. But many people are hesitant to get the shot. A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Americans will not try to get vaccinated.

Why are so many people opting out? The reasons vary. Even though the available COVID-19 vaccines have been found to be safe and effective, some people doubt that getting the shot will better protect them from the virus. Others are concerned about side effects. And some simply don't trust the public health and government officials who are urging them to get the vaccine. In fact, one RAND study showed that public trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declined 10 percent from May to October 2020, a critical stretch of the pandemic.

Of course, vaccine hesitancy isn't new, and it isn't specific to COVID-19. Last year, I gave a virtual TEDx talk about the growing problem of vaccine hesitancy in recent years. How could it be that, despite having more scientific data than ever before to show that vaccines are safe, skepticism about them seemed to be getting worse?

Read the full article about vaccine hesitancy by Jennifer Kavanagh at RAND Corporation.