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Reaching a Majority in US COVID-19 Needs

The country is split on certain strategies and a potential vaccine. Here's why the message needs to go from national to regional.

While resolve to mask-wearing and social distance practice has been inconsistent at best among the US people, the ultimate solution to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) may be yet to come: vaccines could predictably make up for the previous shortcomings by the coutnry’s response.

And yet, Brad Spellberg, MD, sees the matter of vaccination facing risk of a similar shortcoming.

“I don’t see another path forward aside from vaccines,” he said.” But the same digging in on everything else will occur to vaccines.”

In the second segment of an interview with Contagion®, Spellberg, chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, discussed the alternate means by which “dug-in” vaccine-hesitant people may be swayed prior to vaccines becoming regulated.

With a failing national message on the topic, the resolve may be local-focused.

“Different people respond to different messages,” Spellberg said. “Get people who are trusted by segments of the population, reach out to them, make a really serious, intense campaign.”

Spellberg also called for improved messaging which reflects the evolving understanding and research surrounding the virus; he wondered why no campaigns on COVID-19 risk have highlighted long-term symptomatic or younger patients.

“Preaching to the choir isn’t going to get the 40% of people who are recalcitrant on board,” he said. “We need to find other ways to reach them, ways that they will respond to—emotionally, if not based on objective science.”