The Covid States team shared with me more than a thousand comments from unvaccinated people who were surveyed. Scrolling through them, I noticed a lot more fear than certainty. There was the very, very rare “it’s a hoax” and “it’s a gene therapy” but most of it was a version of: I’m not sure it’s safe. Was it developed too fast? Do we know enough? There was also a lot of fear of side effects, worries about lack of Food and Drug Administration approval and about yet-undiscovered dangers.
Their surveys also show that only about 12 percent of the unvaccinated said they did not think they’d benefit from a vaccine: so, only about 4 percent of the national population.
In law, “dying declarations” are given special considerations because the prospect of death can help remove the motivation to deceive or to bluster. The testimony we’ve seen from unvaccinated people in their last days with Covid, sometimes voiced directly by them from their hospital beds, gets at some of the core truths of vaccine hesitancy. They are pictures of confusion, not conviction.