Gloria Torres-Herbeck gets the flu vaccine every year, but the 53-year-old teacher in Rochester, Minnesota, isn’t yet convinced she wants to be first in line for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’m not super old, but I’m not as strong as other people,” she said. “So, I need to be realistic on my own situation. Do I want to participate in something that might be a big risk for me?”
This month, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for one vaccine and is weighing approval of another. So, public health officials around the country are gearing up for what might be as challenging as figuring out how to store a vaccine at 70 degrees below zero Celsius. They need to persuade people who are part of communities that have been hit hard by the virus — those in low-income families and some minority populations, especially Black and Latino residents — to take a vaccine developed in less than a year and approved under emergency use authorization.