I want to start with saying I agree vaccines have improved and extended lives. I got my 2nd shingrix vaccine yesterday.
You have to recognize that a percentage of the population does not trust the CDC, so telling people to read the pink book and trust the experts is not going to convince them
People have legitimate reasons not to trust the CDC specifically and the medical community in general. A few that I can think of include:
1. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study run by the US Public Health Service and the CDC. Black men were told they would be receiving medical care and instead were used to study untreated syphilis.
The study began in 1932. By 1945 it was clear that penicillin was the best treatment for syphilis. They were not offered treatment. Instead CDC and USPHS worked to prevent them from receiving treatment.
In 1969 the CDC reaffirmed the need for the study and gained local medical societies’ support (AMA and NMA chapters officially support continuation of study).
The study wasn't halted until 1972 when someone leaked information about the study to the press. Public outrage stopped the study.
There have been many, many studies published on the effect this had on trust in the medical community. It's still affecting trust in the medical community.
2. In 1955 200,000 children received the Salk (injected) polio vaccine. 4000 (20%) of them contracted polio from the vaccine. The Salk vaccine was a killed virus. There was a problem in the manufacturing process at Cutter Laboratories, so the virus wasn't killed.
Many researchers trace the beginnings of vaccine hesitancy to this incident.
3. From 1963 to 2001 the US used the Sabin (oral) polio vaccine. This was a live, but attenuated virus.
One in 75,000 children receiving their 1st oral polio vaccine contracted polio from the vaccine. That was 8-10 children each year.
The virus in the oral vaccine can revert to the wild type and cause polio.
The injectable vaccine was less likely to cause polio, but the oral vaccine was cheaper.
"When eight to 10 children a year contracted polio, and millions of others were protected, “my feeling was it was a small price to pay,” Walter A. Orenstein, who was director of the U.S. immunization program at the CDC from 1988 to 2004, recalled Friday in an interview."
The father (a lobbyist) of one of the affected children lobbied the CDC to use the injectable vaccine or at least use the injectable vaccine as the first dose. Since 2001 the US has used the injectable vaccine.
4. Then there is how you still can be enrolled into a research study without your knowledge or consent.
"A board that approves research at Minnesota's largest safety-net hospital failed to follow federal rules designed to protect patients when it fast-tracked studies on powerful sedatives, including ketamine, according to inspection reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Hennepin Healthcare expedited approval for at least four studies between 2014 and 2018 that did not require patients to consent beforehand, even though they included a likelihood of using "vulnerable subjects.""
Researchers are also using "passive consent." The patient is handed some information to read. If they don't object, they are enrolled in the study. No one makes sure they understood the material. They don't even make sure they can read. An IRB can decide the risk is minimal, so passive consent is fine.