Maggie Koerth in Five Thirty-Eight:
If a COVID-19 vaccine went on the market before Election Day, Kamala Harris said she’s not sure she’d take it. And she’s not alone. In a recent poll, a majority of Americans — 62 percent — said they were worried that the Trump administration would pressure the Food and Drug Administration to release a vaccine before it’s ready, and 54 percent said they simply wouldn’t take that hypothetical vaccine at all, even if it were free.
Scientists around the world are currently undertaking one of the fastest vaccine-development programs in history, trying to get the novel coronavirus under control as quickly as humanly possible. But the vaccines being tested sit at a nexus of misinformation and mistrust. Between Trump’s apparent meddling in federal health agencies’ decision-making, skepticism about the seriousness of the disease, and long-standing culture wars around the safety of vaccines in general, it’s easy to find yourself floundering, unsure who you can trust.
So I spoke with a handful of people who really know how vaccines, clinical trials and COVID-19 work to find out how to know when it’s a good idea to get the vaccine. They offered these four pieces of advice.