With COVID-19 vaccines readily available to most U.S. residents, it is tempting to assume that unvaccinated people are anti-vaccine. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Rhea Boyd, MD, a pediatrician and co-developer of a national campaign called The Conversation that deploys Black and Latino health care workers to communities to provide information (and dispel misinformation) about the COVID-19 vaccines.
“‘The unvaccinated’ are not a monolith of defectors,” Boyd tells Ed Yong in a recent interview in the Atlantic. What they are is unsure — particularly about the safety and potential side effects — of the COVID-19 vaccines. “A lot of vaccine information isn’t common knowledge. Not everyone has access to Google. This illustrates preexisting fault lines in our health-care system, where resources — including credible information — don’t get to everyone,” Boyd tells Yong. “The information gap is driving the vaccination gap. And language that blames ‘the unvaccinated’ misses that critical point.”