The solution won’t be easy, but officials and experts are pretty confident they know what will work.
First, sending trusted people in communities to advocate for vaccinations at events and doing door-to-door outreach can do wonders in convincing people to get vaccinated, said UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. Getting vaccines into the offices of primary care physicians, where doctors can answer patients’ questions directly, can help too.
Another strategy would involve new requirements to get vaccinated, such as at workplaces, Bibbins-Domingo said. Short of that, she said, employers could require unvaccinated workers to get tested daily — an approach that has been used elsewhere around the world.
“When being vaccinated becomes the more convenient of the two options, that will drive people to be vaccinated,” Bibbins-Domingo said. “You have to make it slightly less convenient to be unvaccinated at this point.
“If you choose to get tested every day, because you don’t believe in vaccination, that might be fine. But I think for some, being tested every day or being tested at some very regular interval might be that the thing that says: ‘Well, yeah, when I look at the risk and benefits, the vaccine is looking a little bit better.’”