Nearly half of the United States population remains unvaccinated. Many who are eligible are hesitant, while others refuse.

“The reasons for that are historical, I’d argue, and they’re complicated,” says College of Charleston history professor Jacob Steere-Williams. He’s spent his academic life studying past pandemics and society’s response to them. I spoke with him recently to see if by looking to the past, we might be able to explain vaccine hesitancy and potentially find a solution for more shots in people’s arms.

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist David Dickson