With the raging Covid-19 pandemic claiming most of the 2020 news cycle, it’s no wonder that the development of a possible vaccine for the disease is one of the main topics at the end of the year. However, this has also brought up another interesting question – will the vaccine we’re going to get at the start of 2021 be safe?
This is a crucial question given that the standard development time of a vaccine up until now was ~10 years on average or 4 years at the earliest. The main reason why the process is usually so slow is safety – vaccine developers usually take their time to test all possible risks and eventualities before releasing a vaccine for mass production.
So, with multiple companies rushing to release a Covid-19 vaccine in less than a year since the disease’s discovery, it’s no surprise that many members of the public are skeptical about the risks of the shots as well as their effectiveness.
That’s why it’s especially nice to see the three most recent former presidents of the U.S. volunteer to take their Covid-19 vaccines publicly.
Former Presidents Volunteer to Get Coronavirus Vaccine on Camera
With misinformation about the incoming Covid-19 vaccines roaming freely around the web there are fears that many people will refuse to take the vaccine when it comes out.
To try and counteract this, former presidents Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have all expressed their willingness to take the first publicly-available and approved vaccine on camera. What’s more, they all did so independently of each other, with no apparent coordination between them.
“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” said Freddy Ford, the former president Bush’s chief of staff. “First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”
Angel Urena, Bill Clinton’s press secretary also stated on Wednesday, December 2, that the former president has similar intentions.
“President Clinton will definitely take a vaccine as soon as available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials. And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same.”
Former president Obama also made the same commitment in an interview with SiriusXM’s Joe Madison on December 2. Obama also explicitly singled out Dr. Anthony Fauci as an expert whose opinion on medical matters he trusts absolutely.
“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely, I’m going to take it.”
“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” he added.
“I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science, and what I don’t trust is getting Covid.”
Obama also acknowledged the significant problem of “vaccine hesitancy” among minorities because of previous incidents such as the Tuskegee experiments.
“I understand you know historically — everything dating back all the way to the Tuskegee experiments and so forth — why the African American community, would have some skepticism. But the fact of the matter is, is that vaccines are why we don’t have polio anymore, the reason why we don’t have a whole bunch of kids dying from measles and smallpox and diseases that used to decimate entire populations and communities,” he said.
It would take more than three former presidents’ approval to persuade Americans to take the Covid-19 vaccine, however. Thanks to the mass misinformation campaign propagated by multiple sources during the last ten months, nearly half of U.S. adults still claim they won’t take the Covid-19 vaccine. This is well below the expected 75% of vaccination coverage required to achieve herd immunity for Covid-19.
So there’s still a long way to go. But the approval of public figures such as these three former presidents is certainly going to help.