Why Are So Many Americans Hesitant To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine?

As trials continue for a coronavirus vaccine, some of the world’s biggest drug companies have come together in an unusual way. This week, nine drugmakers released a joint statement pledging to not submit a coronavirus vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration unless it’s shown to be safe and effective in large clinical trials.

NPR’s Sydney Lupkin reports that the statement comes as a commitment to science, at a time when some Americans have expressed concern that the trials are being rushed.

Part of this concern comes from those who feel politics are influencing the processes vaccines must go through. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have told states a potential vaccine may be ready for distribution as soon as late October — right before Election Day. But when speaking with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, said there is a “very low chance” a vaccine will be ready by then.

While some Americans are skeptical about a coronavirus vaccine, it doesn’t seem like many of those people work on Wall Street. Each time a new vaccine trial phase is announced or a new scientific hurdle is cleared, drug company stock goes up. NPR’s Tom Dreisbach reported that executives at one company took advantage of those rising stock prices.

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