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Cuomo, who encouraged vaccine skepticism, launches ‘public education campaign’ to boost confidence in shot

Jake Dima, DCNF

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who previously urged Americans to be skeptical of a possible coronavirus vaccination, announced Wednesday that he’s launching a “campaign” to boost confidence in immunization.

“I’m not that confident,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos when he was asked about a potential coronavirus injection in October before major pharmaceutical players had passed FDA approval. “But my opinion doesn’t matter, I don’t think the American people are that confident.”

“You’re going to say to the American people now ‘here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe?’ I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine and it should be.”

The governor announced during a press conference Wednesday that he would start a “public education campaign” to promote the vaccines that may be available to Americans in the coming weeks.

“First we’re gonna have to have a real public education to battle the skepticism,” Cuomo said in a press briefing. “Just think of the math on this, you have to get to 75% to 85% of the overall population vaccinated for the vaccine to be effective — 75% to 85%.

“Fifty percent of the population says right now they don’t want to take the vaccine, they don’t trust the approval process, they’re worried about vaccines in general, but 50% are now saying they don’t want to take the vaccine…we’re gonna need a real public education to dispel the skepticism that already exists.”

Democratic New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced a bill this week that would mandate residents of the state to take the vaccination if not enough people receive a dose.

Major pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have both submitted potential COVID-19 shots for approval that had a reported effectiveness greater than 90% in initial human trials, according to the Washington Post.

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