The more women embrace the vaccine and encourage others in their family and community to follow suit, the faster we, as a nation, can achieve herd immunity to contain COVID-19. Women make up to 80% of healthcare decisions in their families. Researchers have called them the Chief Medical Officers, or CMOs, of their families.
According to NBC News, that is why they are so critical to vaccine acceptance and distribution. Experts say that getting women on board the vaccine bandwagon is especially important for people of color. Minorities have been harder hit by the pandemic but are also more skeptical about vaccines than Americans overall.
Dr. Loren Robinson, chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at CHRISTUS Health in Texarkana, Texas, and Lauren Leader, the co-founder of All In Together, a non-partisan women’s civic leadership organization that prompts change in the community, wrote an opinion piece for NBC News. They compared election fervor to the vaccine rollout, saying that just as grassroot movements propelled voters to get out and cast their ballots during the 2020 election, the same groundswell needs to be activated to encourage people to get COVID-19 vaccines.
”Americans in every state will need accessible, reliable information about how, when and where to get the vaccine in their community,” wrote the authors. ”They also need trusted voices encouraging them and helping them to get it.”
A recent Gallup poll showed that many Americans distrust the government. Studies have shown that individuals, especially those who are part of racial and ethnic minorities, often don’t trust their doctors or the medical community as a whole. Historically, racist, and sometimes dangerous, health policies and clinical experiments have targeted these groups. In addition, there has been a lot of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines that has led to vaccine hesitancy, according to Healthline.
That is why women are in the best position, especially women of color, to play pivotal roles in Getting Out The Vaccine (GOTV), according to NBC News.
Robinson and Leader said that the Biden administration should take a page from the previous election’s playbook and reach out to grassroots organization across the country to reach these minorities. The authors point out that the leaders of these organizations are driven by women volunteers, especially Black women.
They asked that the federal government work with state governments to mobilize grassroots troops to help vaccinate the millions of Americans in need. ”Let’s Get The Vaccine and leave no eligible person behind,” they wrote.
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