This story is part of Doubting the Dose, a series that examines anti-vaccine sentiment and the role of misinformation in supercharging it. Read more here.
One year into the pandemic, our ability as a country to get back to normal depends on how quickly millions of Americans can get vaccinated. Scientists estimate we need between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population to be protected from the virus before we reach herd immunity, where enough people are immune to the disease to prevent it from spreading.
With demand for the COVID-19 vaccines vastly outstretching supply, much of the focus has rightly been on the vaccination rollout. But the next big hurdle to herd immunity isn’t manufacturing and efficient distribution—it’s hesitancy.
Because the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson-Janssen vaccines were developed in less than a year, many people don’t feel certain that they’re safe—even though the scientific process wasn’t rushed, and rigorous testing has proven…