Who Do You Trust For Vaccine Information

Harvard researchers and colleagues found the CDC was highly trusted information source
Pharmacist ethics rating 2023
Americans' Ethics Ratings of Medical Professionals: Gallup Poll 2023
Boston (Precision Vaccinations)

Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues found that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was highly trusted for health information by more than 33% of U.S. adults.

Whereas state and local health departments were highly trusted by about 25%. 

In the first nationally representative survey of U.S. adults on reasons for information trust during the COVID-19 pandemic, high levels of trust were not primarily due to people believing agencies had "done a good job" controlling the spread of COVID-19 but rather to public beliefs that agencies communicated clear, science-based recommendations and provided protective resources, such vaccines.

The survey published on March 6, 2023, found that lower levels of trust were primarily related to beliefs that health recommendations were influenced by politics or corporations or were conflicting.

The least trusting respondents also endorsed concerns about private-sector influence and excessive restrictions and had low trust in the government overall. 

"Trust in public health agencies is crucial for enabling effective policies that save lives during emergencies," commented lead author Dr. Gillian SteelFisher, a principal research scientist in the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of global polling at the Harvard Opinion Research Program, in a press release.

A January 2023 Gallop poll found healthcare providers on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic had high ethics ratings.

Pharmacists, who administered the most COVID-19 vaccinations through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, were trusted by 58% of Americans.

However, medical doctors' rating is at its lowest point since 1999, and nurses' since 2004.

"Pharmacists, year after year, have been one of the most trusted healthcare providers or professions," Rina Shah, group vice president of the pharmacy of the future and healthcare segments at Walgreens, told Fierce Healthcare in December 2022.

A digital-first approach to pharmacy will also help to create more choice and convenience for the patient while ensuring more time and capacity for meaningful pharmacist interactions with their patients when and where they want it, wrote CVS Health.

A separate study concluded that it is insufficient to merely relay health information about vaccines to the public and expect dramatic increases in vaccination rates.

Accurate health information needs to be conveyed by trusted sources.

The Harvard study was conducted through a cooperative agreement between the CDC and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, who subcontracted to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. No industry conflicts of interest were disclosed.