Dr. Joshua Sharfstein on vaccine decision-making

"We haven’t had a vaccination ever that’s quite like this, really going for every adult initially in the country. There’s a lot to be learned from it. One of the obvious things is that people’s opinions change. There were so many headlines, “This many people won’t get vaccinated.” Not exactly. That’s what their thinking at that moment may be based on a couple things that happened that day. People reassess the decision. They learn. They talk to friends and family, and they change their mind. One of the early learnings is not to be overconfident or overpanicked based on a single point in time. I think that they either understand some aspect of the evidence, or they rely on someone that they trust.”

 

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Dr. Sharfstein is Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, and Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management. Previously, he served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, and as health policy advisor for Congressman Henry A. Waxman. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration.