Stop calling it a "pandemic of the unvaccinated"

“If you get into these scenarios where you start pitting one group against another, you create tension, you create resistance,” says Simon Bacon, a behavioral scientist at Concordia University, in Montreal. “What you really need to do is totally deflate that.”…

Biden’s latest mandate requires more than 80 million Americans to get vaccinated or show negative COVID-test results at least once a week. Some early evidence (not yet peer reviewed) suggests that vaccine requirements can be counterproductive because they make people feel pressured and may increase existing distrust of public-health initiatives, especially among marginalized groups. The American Public Health Association’s executive director, Georges C. Benjamin, has warned that Biden’s latest mandate might cause Americans to “dig in and bristle at being told what to do.” An overarching principle of public health, said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, is that people should engage with policies willingly, not because they fear being penalized.

A recent study of attitudes toward vaccine passports in the United Kingdom and Israel showed that lower willingness to get a shot is associated with feeling that one’s autonomy is being compromised. For some, said the study’s lead author, Talya Porat of Imperial College London, “passports might increase resistance to vaccination or alter the motivation behind their vaccine decisions in ways that might have detrimental long-term consequences.” Even though people might get vaccinated now, they may resist booster shots or vaccines against new coronavirus variants in the future.