The Wall Street Journal reports on polling about vaccine hesitance or willingness:
Civis Analytics...asked an online panel of adults weighted to resemble the full U.S. population this question: "Suppose that an FDA-authorized coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine was available today. Would you get this vaccine?"....
To see how different phrasing might influence responses, Civis Analytics tried two versions of its question, including one that referenced the FDA and one that didn't. When the FDA was mentioned, 7% fewer people said they would get vaccinated, perhaps because of distrust in the government, according to Crystal Son, the company's director of healthcare analytics.
That struck me as an astonishing finding. The poll was taken toward the end of the Trump administration, so one possible explanation is that it might reflect an anti-Trump majority's concern that the FDA or its approval process was being subject to political influence. But if "distrust in the government" is such a strong factor, it's worth considering what the government has done to earn that distrust. How much of the distrust of the government is rational, and how much is irrational? Under the circumstances, if FDA approval is really going to suppress vaccine uptake by 7%, it's tempting to at least consider forgoing the FDA approval process for the vaccine altogether. Maybe the finding is just sampling error. But if it is replicated in other polls, it's worth asking what if anything can be done to build public confidence in the vaccines. Maybe don't tell people the FDA has approved it?