On Amanpour & Co. on CNN and PBS, Dr. Brian Castrucci, president and chief executive officer of the de Beaumont Foundation, discussed what it will take to build confidence among people who have concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Castrucci and pollster Frank Luntz were interviewed by Hari Sreenivasan about de Beaumont’s recent polling and focus groups, and what we’ve learned about the causes of people’s concerns and what can be done to overcome them and build confidence in the vaccines. Watch the 18-minute interview here:

“If you have the right messages and the right messengers, you can save lives,” Dr. Castrucci said. “That was the whole point of the focus groups. What will it take for people to put aside their personal concerns and get vaccinated?”

When asked what it will take to build a shared understanding of facts and depoliticize science, Dr. Castrucci said, “The scariest part for me is I don’t think either side is anti-science. I think they have found scientists who agree with them. And so now we have different groups believing different facts. And this is where we need bipartisan cooperation. The fact that everything devolves into a political debate makes doing everything harder. When politics corrupts public health, we just can’t do our jobs effectively.”

As we build acceptance, he said, we need to make sure the vaccine is accessible to those who want to take it. “Once we use the right words and people have confidence in the vaccine, they have to be able to get it. People don’t want to go to mass vaccination sites — they want to get their vaccine in their doctor’s office. We need 24-hour clinics, we need walk-in availability for the vaccine. We’re transitioning into a time that for those who are getting the vaccine, it may not be a life or death decision for them. We need to make sure that every single barrier has been removed so they can simply and easily make this choice, and making getting the vaccine the easy choice is the best way to get people to take it.”

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