Yahoo Finance's Adriana Belmonte details several of the reasons why people are opting not to receive their booster shot, from believing the Omicron variant is only mild symptoms to the political climate around vaccines.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Welcome back. The CDC today says new studies show Pfizer and Moderna booster shots offer strong protection against Omicron and are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations. Still, more than 53% of eligible Americans haven't gotten those booster shots yet. With more on why this booster effort seems to be sputtering is Yahoo Finance reporter and editor, Adriana Belmonte. Adriana, why do you think it is that people are just not running out to get those boosters?
ADRIANA BELMONTE: So there's three main reasons for it when you dig down into the data. It seems like one of the primary reasons is the fact that the narrative keeps changing. You know, right now, there is this idea that Omicron is mild, that it's-- you know, the symptoms aren't as severe as previous variants, especially Delta. So people think that they don't need the booster right now. They can hold off. But what they don't realize is that these variants are just as severe for unvaccinated people, meaning that if those unvaccinated people catch the virus from somebody who isn't boosted, they're hit just as severe as any other variants.
Another issue is that public guidance is constantly changing. There's data saying that you need a booster against Omicron. There's one saying that you should wait until-- there's one specifically tailored to Omicron. It's always changing. People are confused and rightfully so. And then the other reason is that vaccines have become so politicized. Right now, it makes it seem like that if you get vaccinated, you support one party, one political candidate. And you have to say unvaccinated if you want to be true to another party. So this polarization, especially amplified by social media, is just really exacerbating this issue.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Yeah, thanks for mapping that all out because there's a lot at stake here for folks. And I think you're right. There's just, in general, a whole lot of confusion.