Citizens who have not received immunization against the Covid-19 due to doubts or rejection of vaccines, they account for a significant percentage of patients who are currently hospitalized. Despite the fact that some of the defenders of the denialist theories have ended up dying from the coronavirus and that it is being shown that vaccination reduces deaths from Covid-19 and the severe manifestation of the disease. In this context, it seems essential to understand why certain people refuse or have doubts about vaccination. A new Polish study, carried out at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland) and the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Wroclaw, Poland) and published in the academic journal “Social Psychological Bulletin”, puts on the table the impact of dissemination active of conspicuous hoaxes against vaccines, as well as mistrust of Big Pharma, scientists and doctors.
The study used data from a total of 492 participants who identified themselves as doubtful or opposed to vaccination. The research team, led by Dr. Katarzyna Stasiuk, concludes that those who reject the Covid vaccine have a negative attitude towards vaccines in general.
The arguments were collected during a conference in which people opposed to vaccination explained their positions. Interestingly, although they often claimed that their opinion was based on their own experience or an observed negative experience with vaccines, when asked about their reasoning, his explanations were very vague. Many said they did not remember the source of the information, while others attributed autism, allergies or sick children to vaccines, despite a lack of evidence for this correlation.
According to the authors of the work, these cases may be due to the tendency of people to remember negative reports, even if they have only been read on the internet.
The research team also notes that when similar information is received from multiple sources, people tend to forget how they learned it, often mistaking it for their own experience or that of their loved ones. As a result, they could become another source of misinformation.
In general, anti-vaccines believe they cause serious negative side effectsThey do not protect the individual or society against infectious diseases and are not sufficiently tested before. In addition, they are convinced that anti-vaccine leaders are better informed about vaccines than doctors, and that they are rather the first to act in the public interest.
For their part, the participants who showed doubts about the vaccine in the survey did, for the most part, trust their efficacy, as well as that they were being adequately investigated. Yet they were still susceptible to claims by the anti-vaccine movement about side effects and the “Big Pharma conspiracy.”
In conclusion, the scientists note that the existing evidence is quite pessimistic about the possibility of changing the attitudes of opponents to the vaccine and therefore recommend that efforts focus on persuade the group that has doubts, so that your worries about negative effects are reduced. They also suggest that they need to be presented with social arguments about why medical professionals recommend vaccines, in order to strengthen the positive points of their attitude.