- Former President Barack Obama said he will take a coronavirus vaccine once one is available.
- Obama said he would be willing to film it, if that would build confidence in the U.S. about vaccine safety.
- Obama’s comment came as numerous polls find many Americans are skeptical about getting a Covid-19 vaccine, potentially jeopardizing U.S. vaccination efforts to control the pandemic.
Former President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will take a coronavirus vaccine once one is available and may film it to build confidence in the U.S. about vaccine safety.
“I will be taking it and I may take it on TV or have it filmed so people know that I trust this science,” he told SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” during an interview that is scheduled to air in full Thursday. “What I don’t trust is getting Covid.”
Obama’s comment came as numerous polls find many Americans are skeptical about getting a Covid-19 vaccine, potentially jeopardizing U.S. vaccination efforts to control the pandemic, which has now taken at least 1.48 million lives worldwide. People of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, in particular, appear to be less eager to take it, according to a recent Gallup poll.
Medical experts blame escalated fears due to the pandemic as well as concerns that President Donald Trump is pressing regulators to approve a vaccine before it is ready for the skepticism.
To be sure, the reluctance or refusal to get vaccinated has been a growing problem in the U.S. long before the pandemic started. Medical experts point to a long-debunked study published by British researchers in 1998 linking measles vaccines to autism in children. That only emboldened anti-vaxxers, a group of activists known for their opposition to vaccinations and spreading misinformation, they said.
During the interview, Obama also mentioned the Tuskegee study, in which Black men with syphilis were not offered treatment for decades after penicillin became available in the 1940s, so that government researchers could study the long-term effects of the disease.