It is generally thought that the beginning of the end phase of this pandemic will be the arrival of protective vaccines against SARS CoV-2. While progress in vaccine development has been truly remarkable, resulting in multiple safe and effective vaccines heading to market, close to 50% of Americans say that they are not likely to get the vaccine. Where does this hesitancy come from, and—more importantly—what kinds of education can be put into place to refute false beliefs and provide concrete guidance for making a decision? Our discussion will focus on the basic biology of what vaccines “do” and an up-to-the-moment assessment of where we are, followed by a discussion of some of the existing societal concerns that might interfere with a speedy end to this national nightmare.
Dr. Glenn Rall is a Professor and the Chief Academic Officer at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Rall received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College, his PhD from Van- derbilt University and completed postdoctoral training at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA before coming to Fox Chase in 1995. In addition to his duties at Fox Chase, Rall is also an Adjunct Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology departments at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Thomas Jefferson, Drexel, and Temple Universities. Rall's laboratory studies viral infections of the brain and the immune responses to those infections, with the goal of defining how viruses contribute to disease in humans, including cancer. His service to the sci- entific community includes membership on the Autism Speaks Scientific Advisory Board, Editor of various journals, Program Chair of the American Society for Virology, and co-authorship of the top-selling textbook, Principles of Virology.