The first Americans have already begun to receive Pfizer's (PFE 1.30%) COVID-19 vaccine. Another vaccine could be available in a matter of days. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 11, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina talked with immunotherapy scientist Dr. Leo Nissola about the effort to vaccinate people across the U.S. and what his biggest worry about COVID vaccination is.
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Corrine Cardina: As we move into the world of vaccination, which is quite different from the world of vaccine development, what would you say is the biggest worry you have about trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible? Is it the logistics and the challenges of distribution? Or are you more concerned about convincing people to take the vaccine?
Dr. Leo Nissola: Thank you for asking this question. I've been dying to answer that question to someone and I've been literally screaming from the top of my lungs here on it.
You see, I think that now we live in an online world and our lives have shifted online. While we are still doing a lot of meaningful work, we also have to be mindful that a lot of people are exposed to false information online. They're exposed to misinformation campaigns about vaccinations, they're exposed to false news on social media and groups from social media platforms.
My biggest worry, and I've written on this in the past few weeks, is that folks at home do not have confidence in our decision-makers and I think we have to rebuild that trust. If I were in any position to make my voice heard there, it would be, please make sure that we have a strong and robust vaccination campaign where we explain to the population not only that the vaccine is safe and effective, but also the benefits of getting a vaccine.
I also called out for a vaccine stimulus. I believe in it. I think it would help folks get on board. I don't agree with the strategy of making those limiting services, limiting people from flying or limiting people that are not vaccinated to get in schools. But I actually think that we should get people excited about the vaccine. Explain for the population, what are the side effects, what are the downsides, what are the possibilities, but also all the benefits.
I think we've lost, I think 12 million people, if I'm not mistaken, have lost their jobs this year, and with their jobs went away their healthcare. It would be an interesting strategy to perhaps give folks at home that have lost their jobs, their healthcare benefits if they choose to take the vaccine.
Corrine Cardina: Absolutely. That's a very innovative idea.