Times reporters in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom Lin Ri, Aoki, Jishuangcheng, Global Times reporters Zhao Jueyu, Ding Yuqing] Last week, the United Kingdom began to widely vacculate the novel coronavirus vaccine in China; this week, after the relevant vaccine was approved for emergency use, the United States also launched the most ambitious vaccination campaign in its history. Move. As the coronavirus pandemic has plagued, the launch of vaccines has excited Europe and the United States, as can be seen from the scene of the British Health Secretary’s tearful program, and the description of “D Day” (D-Day of the D-Day in World War II) as described by American officials.
But does this really mean that the dawn is around the corner? In terms of vaccine access, some developed countries have quickly seized resources and even been criticized for it. Even so, the road to getting back on track is not smooth. There is uncertainty about the proportion of vaccination, vaccine production capacity and vaccine effectiveness, which are the “mountains” that Europe and the United States must cross to achieve herd immunity.
In the United States, the undercurrent of anti-vaccine organizations surged.
Jane O’Lean is a doctor who is skeptical about the coronavirus vaccine and has been advocating for the promotion of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. Recently, as a witness, she attended a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
In an interview with the media, Olean said she would not be vaccinated against the coronavirus because she has an autoimmune disease. She added that she opposed the government’s push for all Americans to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Against the backdrop of soaring infections and deaths, the emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine undoubtedly gave the United States a glimmer of light after a long night. But at the same time, the voice of anti-vaccine forces is increasing. Some commentators say that many people’s trust in science and government has been seriously shaken.
The most worrying is the vigilance of vaccines and distrust of medical institutions in communities of color. Although almost three times as likely to die from COVID-19, less than half (42%) of African-Americans have expressed their willingness to be vaccinated. .
“At such a critical moment, it’s dangerous to give conspiracy theorists a platform to spread myths and lies about the coronavirus vaccine, which is one of the last things Senate Republicans should do right now.” Schumer, the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, said in a statement recently.
But at least two Republican congressmen seem to agree with O’Lean’s warning against the government’s authorization to use the vaccine. They made it clear on Twitter: Americans should have the freedom to refuse.
Orian is the executive director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons. The association even sued the government in an attempt to force the government to allocate hydroxychloroquine from the state stockpile to treat COVID-19, the New York Times reported.
The group has urged caution in a number of blog posts, such as the article titled “Should we wait in line for a vaccine that works 90%?” Olean also told the media that she was concerned about the vaccination of young people against the novel coronavirus, which may affect fertility…
Such voices cause concern to many professionals. The same campaign, which used to downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and then downplay the number of cases and deaths, is now targeting vaccines, says Emerson Brokin, a researcher at the American Atlantic Council.
The First Draft, a non-profit organization that studies online disinformation, said that there are five main aspects of the anti-vaccine conspiracy theory:
- 1. Question whether people need to be vaccinated;
- 2. Blame pharmaceutical companies and politicians of promoting vaccines for the benefit;
- 3. Claim that the media is in collusion with pharmaceutical companies;
- 4. Claiming that mandatory vaccination against the novel coronavirus is to control the population;
- 5. Spread unfounded allegations that the coronavirus vaccine was made from abortion.
Conspiracy theories are shaping people’s perceptions of the coronavirus vaccine, with 44% saying that the COVID-19 death rate is deliberately exaggerated, 44% say there is something to be true, and 22% say it is “absolutely true,” according to a survey conducted by Acxiom, a US data company that was conducted from November 25 to December 4. . Even 41% of respondents believe that COVID-19 may or must be created and spread by powerful forces or people.
According to USA Today, disinformation about vaccines has been circulating on social media for many years, triggering a deep-rooted and far-reaching anti-vaccine campaign.
Anti-vaccine groups large and small, vendors who want to use people’s fear to sell fake health drugs are huge. Researchers warn that social media platforms may not be able to contain anti-vaccine voices, which is simply the second pandemic of “infectious diseases”.
Such warnings are not exaggerated. On December 3, U.S. President-elect Biden said: “People have lost confidence that vaccines can work. The relevant figures are indeed ‘shockingly’ low. What a president and a vice president do is important… it’s vital to communicate to Americans that it’s safe to do it (vaccinated).”
Return to normal, the timetable they are looking forward to
The United States and Europe have plans and expectations for the restoration of social order through vaccines to achieve herd immunity. On the 13th, Slavey, the chief scientific adviser of the U.S. government’s Warp program, said he expected the United States to achieve herd immunity from May to June next year.
At the same time, he said that people have the right to decide whether to vaccinate, but he hoped that people would understand the importance of vaccination.
In the UK, the government reportedly hopes that life can return to normal next spring. The UK government has ordered 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, which can cover 20 million people based on two doses per person.
According to BBC analysis, there have been reports that Pfizer’s production is problematic, which will raise the problem of whether the vaccine supply is stable, and Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at ultra-low temperatures. Therefore, Britain pinned its hopes on the vaccine developed by Oxford University. If the vaccine gets the green light from the regulator, there will be rapid progress in vaccinating the most vulnerable in the first few months of 2021.
Germany hopes to start the vaccination program in the first quarter of 2021. In order to achieve herd immunity, Germany aims to vaccinate two-thirds of the population, which is expected to be completed by 2022.
According to the documents of the German Ministry of Health, through joint procurement with the European Union, Germany is expected to obtain about 300 million doses of vaccine.
But the problem ahead is that in developed countries in the United States and Europe, people’s understanding of the coronavirus vaccine is far from uniform. In late November, the Pew Research Center surveyed more than 10,000 Americans, and only 60% said they were positive or likely to be vaccinated. As for whether they want to be the first group to be vaccinated, 37% said they were willing to do so, and 62% were reluctant.
Specific to race, African Americans are willing to be vaccinated at the lowest rate, at only 42 percent, while whites are willing to be vaccinated at 61 percent, and Asians are the highest percentage of people willing to be vaccinated at 83%.
Since May, polling agencies have conducted at least seven surveys on the willingness of Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, and most polls show that the proportion of people who are willing to get the vaccine is between 50% to 70%.
But according to Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, only 75 to 80% of people are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus can produce strong enough herd immunity to bring people back to normal activities.
Germany has a similar situation. A survey conducted in late November by the German health insurance company Balmer showed that only 53% of people over the age of 16 planned to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. As for why they are reluctant to get the vaccine, 68% are skeptical about the safety of the vaccine, 60% are worried about excessive side effects, and 22% say they usually don’t consider vaccination.
In this situation, it is not surprising that more and more anti-vaccine people in Germany are participating in various demonstrations – such activities are held in almost every city every week.
According to YouGov, in July this year, about 32% of the French people said that they refused to vaccinate even if a coronavirus vaccine was successfully developed. For more than a decade, the French who explicitly rejected various vaccines have remained between 25% and 30%.
In the UK, a recent survey shows that nearly half of the British people have concerns about the safety of the vaccine, one third may refuse to vaccine, and 44% of the respondents said that the public should not be forced to be vaccinated by law.
Objectively speaking, due to the tight research and development time and the not long test cycle, the safety of the coronavirus vaccine has attracted many people’s concern, and some side effects of the vaccine have been reported one after another. Therefore, experts are cautious about the effect of vaccination in Europe and the United States.
Stefan Troschke, a member of the German vaccination committee, said that there is no large-scale data on the side effects of the vaccine, and there is a lack of information on the possible long-term consequences of research.
Chen Xi, an associate professor of global health policy and economics at Yale University, told the Global Times that in addition to the personal will of the people, the vaccine itself, transportation and production capacity are all factors affecting the promotion of the coronavirus vaccine in Europe and the United States.
He mentioned that the clinical data of Pfizer vaccine are only about three months, and it is uncertain how long the antibodies brought by the vaccine can last, which is an important basis for the effectiveness of the vaccine. In addition, it is not known whether Pfizer vaccinators may also catch the virus or infect others.
“Mass vaccination faces many obstacles that must be overcome, including national (vaccination) planning and logistics, vaccine production, public distrust and wandering scientific unknowns. The American “Axios” news network concluded.
The media quoted Michael Fraser, a member of the Association of State and Local Health Officials, as saying that in a large and diverse country like the United States, the biggest challenge is how to “vaccinated state by state, county, neighborhood, and person by person”.
“If this problem is not solved, all the previous achievements will be wasted”
“Our study believes that it may be after late August next year, that is, before the advent of autumn, two-thirds of the population in the United States will be vaccinated, plus about 10% of people already have antibodies, and there will be herd immunity.” Chen Xi told the Global Times that if Biden’s new administration can achieve his short-term goal of distributing 100 million doses of vaccine within 100 days of taking office and 50% of the people are willing to vaccinate, the United States can reduce the R0 value of COVID-19 to less than one person by the end of June next year, that is, one person will only infect less than one person. . But if the 100-day target is not achieved, the epidemic may be delayed until next autumn and winter or even 2022.
“The most important parameters of vaccine are three: effectiveness, adequacy of production capacity and supply chain, and people’s willingness to vaccinate.
The impact of Americans’ doubts and objections to vaccines may be decisive.” Chen Xi said that assuming that the coronavirus vaccine is effective and the government’s implementation is OK to ensure production capacity and supply chain, the last and most important link is the people’s coordination. If the willingness to vaccinate is low, all previous efforts will be lost.
In Chen Xi’s view, Britain is better than the United States in this respect, and the anti-vaccine voice is significantly weaker than the United States. This has a great relationship with the cultures of the two countries. The United States is a Protestant immigrant country, and the people advocate freedom very much.
At the same time, the UK’s population is relatively small, and it can already ensure that about one-third to one-half of the population has access to the vaccine. But there is also a clear problem in the UK, that is, the additional risk of “Brexit”, which may also be an important reason why the United Kingdom was the first to announce the approval of the emergency use of Pfizer vaccine.
In Germany, the government has repeatedly stressed that people will not be forced to vaccinate. But some experts say that if the proportion of people who volunteer to vaccinate does not reach two-thirds, the government should enforce it, because the risk of vaccination is much lower than the risk of disease, and other methods cannot eliminate the epidemic.
This is also what some anti-vaccine people worry about. There are also concerns that people who do not have vaccination or are not certified to be unable to engage in certain occupations may lead to “indirect compulsory vaccination”.
At present, Britain and the United States are trying to increase their efforts to persuade more people that they have launched extensive vaccination campaigns. According to the Guardian, the British public health care system is launching a publicity campaign to encourage the public to participate in the vaccination program, and intends to invite celebrities and influential figures to serve as ambassadors.
The report revealed that although the specific candidate has not yet been determined, Manchester United star Rushford and members of the British royal family, who have been fighting for free lunch for poor schoolchildren, will be suitable, and inviting politicians to serve as propaganda ambassadors will not be considered.
“History shows that well-conducted public education campaigns have helped to boost public confidence in vaccines.” According to the “Political Truth” network of the United States.
Matthew Lawrence, associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, mentions that there have been successful mass vaccination campaigns in the United States before, including polio in the 1950s and, more recently, the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic.” Maintaining public trust will depend on clear information about the benefits and side effects of vaccines, transparency between R&D firms and researchers on the know- and agnostic nature of pre-existing COVID-19 vaccines, and ongoing engagement and dialogue with communities and individuals, among others.” Lawrence said.
According to the New York Times on the 13th, the Trump administration has launched a $250 million public education project aimed at encouraging more Americans to be vaccinated, and the first wave of national advertisements will be launched this week.
The article said that federal government officials admitted that the challenges they faced were huge, because for most of this year, the government belittled scientists, introduced ineffective treatments, and downplayed the severity of the epidemic, but now rushed to convince people of the vaccine. The article said that the “building confidence in vaccines” project will focus on the middle-center people in the eyes of officials, who are hesitant to vaccinate and can be persuaded.