Trying To Change The Minds Of The Unvaccinated Is A Waste Of Money

The Chautauqua County Legislature made the right move in turning away a $75,000 grant to address vaccine hesitancy.

It did so for largely the wrong reasons, with legislators giving reasons that included not wanting to coerce people to get vaccines, not singling out certain community groups at the expense of others or targeting parents who haven’t complied with “our programming.”

There was one simple, overarching reason to turn this funding away — it wasn’t going to do any good. The county would have done just as much good taking $75,000 in dollar bills and lighting it on fire as it would have done trying to convince people who are anti-vaccine to change their minds and be vaccinated. All the commercials, advertisements, public service announcements, phone calls, social media posts, letters, guest essays, flyers, posters and messages sent via carrier pigeon aren’t going to miraculously make more people get vaccines. Those who haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine — or any other vaccine — have their reasons, and it is their right to refuse the vaccines. Society has its right to restrict the things those who don’t want to be vaccinated, like attend public schools or enter some businesses.

Government programs to eliminate vaccine hesitancy are a waste of money at this point. After two years of COVID-19, people’s minds are made up. The best thing government can do is to make sure vaccines and tests are available so that people who need them have access to them. The time has come to stop throwing good money after bad — and addressing vaccine hesitancy is a bad use of money.


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