COVID-19 Vaccines: Asked and Answered with Bernice Hausman

The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is underway across the United States, bringing hope to many but concerns to others. The newness of the vaccine and its rapid development process, for example, leave questions for some. It’s important to note, however, that these vaccines were developed under scientific scrutiny and tested in clinical trials following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines before public distribution. And when the vaccine is made available to the general public, the University strongly encourages participation as part of our effort to protect the health and well-being of our communities and to hopefully mitigate the longer impact of transmission.

As part of a video series where Penn State faculty experts help educate the community on the latest information related to the COVID-19 vaccine, Bernice Hausman, professor of humanities and public health sciences, explains that vaccine hesitancy is not new and we’ve seen these same concerns throughout history as new vaccines were developed. “Fortunately the slow roll out of these vaccines gives people an opportunity to observe first-hand their safety and effectiveness,” Hausman said.

Bernice Hausman, professor of humanities and public health sciences, discusses the common concerns around people's hesitance towards new vaccines developed to combat COVID-19. 

As vaccine hesitancy occurs for a variety of reasons -- including confusion about the regulatory approval process, a trust or distrust of government and medical institutions, and access to internet and online registration systems -- it’s essential to listen to concerns and stay informed. Stay tuned for upcoming videos with tips on how to combat misinformation; the differences between the vaccines in development and what is involved in the process to approve them; and how viruses like COVID-19 evolve (to name a few).

As additional information regarding vaccine distribution becomes available, the University will share updates on Penn State News and Penn State’s Virus Information website. Individuals also can call the COVID-19 Response Center at 814-865-2121 for specific questions. For those who have a question about the COVID-19 vaccines, call the PA Health Hotline at 1-877-724-3258. 


Last Updated August 11, 2021