Dear Editor,

More can be done to raise awareness on the importance of vaccines. Americans remain skeptical about vaccination due to the political and social power aligned with it. Americans are proud people who savor freedom and liberty. Whenever these pillars of society are attacked, people fight back.

While there has been information going around about the virus and the need to have people vaccinated, health officials have not always been forthcoming with intricate details on the matter. Most unvaccinated adults in America still think that the news agencies have generally exaggerated the seriousness of the coronavirus.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s COVID 19-Vaccine Monitor, 75% of Americans who indicated that they will not get vaccinated believe that the information on the virus has been generally exaggerated for political purposes. This is a concern that many Americans share.

I also share this concern on the lack of adequate information on the vaccine, its components, and how it can affect my body. There have been cases of deaths related to the vaccine that have not been adequately addressed by government or health officials. Hence, there is a lack confidence from those who refuse to get vaccinated.

Research shows that there were only three deaths linked to blood clots that occurred after these individuals got the Johnson & Johnson. While this number may not be significant compared to the amount of lives that may be saved, it still creates distrust. Information might be available, but if it does not reach the people through effective campaigns, it becomes ineffective. The misinformation campaigns on the Internet are getting to Americans more so than factual information they need in order to make the right decisions regarding vaccinations.

People are scared and that is a natural consequence in situations like these. However, the more time the government and health officials take to figure out ways to mandate the vaccines instead of creating awareness with transparency and adequate information, I fear that the COVID cases will continue to rise, and people will continue to have mistrust in the science.

Kyana N. Charles, St. Thomas, is a political science student at the University of the Virgin Islands.