Wednesday, December 08, 2021

What Drives Vaccine Hesitancy?

Vaccine hesitancy in this country might very well be a reflection of the widening political divide between Democrats and Republicans. According to a recent PBS poll (if polls still have any credibility), 41% of Republicans have no plans to get the jab, compared to just 4% of Democrats. But vaccine hesitancy is a global, not national, problem. The Atlantic observes that in Russia, for example, only 40% of the population is vaccinated. Those opposed include Communists, anti-Putin activists and Orthodox. Distrust in government, whether it is Joe Biden or Vladimir Putin, is cited as a factor. But something else is at play. I know numerous Republicans who've been vaccinated. I know numerous liberal Democrats who have shied away.  I believe there are other factors in this refusal called omission bias and . 

Omission bias was discussed Monday by Dr, Gretchen Chapman on Here and Now. Long before COVID-19 reared its ugly, spike-protein head. she conducted a study in which participants were presented a hypothetical about a fictitious disease called nauseosis. They were told they had a 10% chance of contracting the disease. They were also told that there was a vaccine, but a small number of those who took it might contract the disease itself. 

The rational thing to do is take the vaccine, as it presents a smaller risk iof getting infected than doing nothing at all. But as Dr. Chapman, explained, people feel more regret if they contract a disease after taking precautions than if they do nothing at all. They feel this regret is because the harm they suffered was caused by an action they took. They feel less regret if they just let nature take its course. This is omission bias. 

Her study finds, not surprisingly, that those who declined the nauseosis vaccine would also decline the flu vaccine in the real world. 

This is pretty much consistent with my own life history. I once had a very bad experience with a flu vaccine. Thereafter, I refused to get the jab even though  I contracted the flu nearly every year. I felt less regret in getting the flu than I did when getting sick just once over an affirmative action I took.  

Another bias at play is a naturalness bias, a preference for herbal treatments over synthetic products. We see that with the anti-vaxers who tout Vitamin D.  

Neither of these biases is rooted in any particular political ideology. But they are biases and irrational. 

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

sure bernie.

John said...

Natural Immunity is why. Lots of people have it, including myself. Why would I need the vaccine?

Anonymous said...

Good post. Tuskegee. Trust is earned. Our government has earned very little. The harder it attempts to govern, the more suspicious it becomes to many. That has a lot to do with the putrid people who populate government. We see how they act each day and wouldn't trust them to do anything in our personal lives. Trust is earned, or not.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child a lot of women who were experiencing miscarriage s were given a drug, DES. Problem is that the drug caused cancer in the reproductive organs of children twenty years or more later. I don’t fear the vaccine since I am 70 plus. But, for kids? Stupid, since kids don’t suffer from the disease anyway.

Anonymous said...

Friend worked for Santofee in the pocono's a while back and he was a chemist and he said he saw stuff that was not cool. He refuses to get the vaccine for covid and the reg. flu shots. I respect his decision but still got the shots.

Anonymous said...

I think your analysis of people who are cautious about this vaccine as being irrational is contributing to the division about this. I suspect that those unvaccinated have likely put more time and effort into judging their risk/ reward than those who just accept the media and political pressure.

1. No one knows the long term consequences of this vaccine. Neither Fauci, Biden or you. Why not just admit that rather than demonize anyone who is concerned and label them as stupid, irrational etc.
2. At least in most parts of the world immunity from having covid is recognized. Why not in this country?
3. Risk/reward is being calculated by most of the unvaccinated. The risk to their children from the vaccine is unknown, the risk from the virus seems to be minimal.
4. There are differences of opinion in the medical community about this, but many are fearful of being attacked or worse if they speak out. Many healthcare workers are concerned about the long term effects of this vaccine. Why?
5. It seems that the side effects from these vaccines are not being reported or taken into account. The idea is that the statistics say only a small percent have side effect. that is good unless you are in that small percent.
6. I have had many vaccines, but not this one nor the flu vaccine, As for the flu most never die from the flu but from bacterial pneumonia as a side effect from the flu. The pneumonia vaccine is more effective in having a better outcome without taking a flu vaccine every year.
7. As long as everyone who questions this vaccine is labeled unscientific or irrational or worse we will have division. It is not a Republican/Democrat thing. Do you believe that people who are opposed to ingesting genetically altered food would not have questions about this new, type of vaccine.
8. Why has no one developed a vaccine in the traditional way? From a dead or weakened virus. If as the studies have shown that natural immunity is better than the vaccine, then it should be possible to replicate that with a traditional vaccine.

So, there are some thoughts on this subject, Is it all misinformation to not be considered? Are average Americans too stupid to make decisions about the risk/Reward for themselves and their children? We see drugs that have turned out to be bad, even after years of trial and studies, yet we are told to trust all these conflicted experts.

Anonymous said...

The ease of access to (and prevalence of) misinformation on the internet is the primary cause.

Cherry picked statistics, over hyped isolated exceptions are shared and amplified which creates clouds of doubt that 30-40 years ago would have never been given enough oxygen to get noticed.

Now we have complete novices "doing their own research" in order to reach their own conclusions about science. And what is this "research"? Lab based, controlled experiments? No. 60 hours of dedicated classroom study at an accredited college or university? No. How about cracking open an old text book? No.

The "research" is scrolling thru message boards, comment sections and Facebook posts, clicking on dubious links while sitting on their couch. Shopping for a conclusion they agree with.

Skepticism is always a good thing in small doses and a natural human condition. There will always be someone saying "No", holding back, questioning science. Most times (not all) those individuals are ultimately proven wrong and painted in a bad light by history.

If 3 out of 4 medical professionals, people who have literal YEARS and DECADES of experience with the human body down to microscopic levels of detail, I'm going to choose to side with the 75%.

Anonymous said...

All you white racist Americans can move over to Russia and live amongst yourselves!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I think your analysis of people who are cautious about this vaccine as being irrational is contributing to the division about this. " You are free to think what you want, but if the risks of contracting a disease are virtually nonexistent after getting a vaccine with a vaccine to this hypothetical illness, while there is a very small risk of contracting the disease itself in this hypothetical scenario, it necessarily follows that refusal to get the vaccine to this disease is illogical. It is a decision grounded in emotion, not logic. That is the simple reality.

As I've explained my past refusal to get a flue vaccine was driven by emotion, not logic. So was my decision to resist the pneumonia vaccine despite having had the disease three times. It is omission bias.

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that both the prevalence and severity of both the illness in question are significant. If I don't think I'm likely to get COVID, or if I don't think the symptoms will be too bad, then it's much easier to forego the vaccine.

Then apply the same rationale to the vaccine itself: how likely is it to help, how likely is a side-effect, and how bad is that likely to be?

I don't see how anyone other than scientists can adequately address those questions.

Anonymous said...

The brilliant 7:22 AM post above reminds me of yesterday’s 7:48 contribution. Not just logical, but accurate. Hmm.

We find ourselves in a time when lying, deception, cheating have overtaken most every aspect of government influence on our families. Next, add a loss of truthful news reporting and the emergence of Members of Congress who simply vote in ways they believe will solidify their positions first, with average citizens considered secondary to their mission. Well, it’s easy to see the level of distaste most of us have for those ‘lording’ over us.

Admit it, the ground level results of the present Federal Administration in Washington are NOT good, and are expected to get worse. Too big now to hide. Big money players, special interest groups, fake charities, and even global meddlers who find success in controlling our elected officials have brought us to this sorry state.

Yes, I am reluctant to quickly buy-in to whatever Washington is selling. For the most part, it hasn’t been in MY best interest. Sometimes, not even in best interest of maintaining a strong America.

So, what to do? I trust nothing from this government and plan to work to oust most every Member of Congress. That group has lost its way. Something’s gotta change.

Anonymous said...

@7:22 "Why has no one developed a vaccine in the traditional way?"

Yes, if only the medical community simply stuck with traditional methods for scientific advancement. COVID would be much less worse if more people were still using leeches.

That right there illustrates how the "average American" is making decisions on the Risk/Rewards surrounding a virus, the human body and medical practices that they have very little understanding about.

Your phrase "Too stupid" is harsh, but maybe a better word is "Naïve" or "Novice" as a descriptor. When it comes to making potential life or death decisions on subjects that at best you only have basic information on is not ideal. I get being independent and making your own choices, but what you've laid out in your 8 points is akin to asking a 5th grader to explain in detail what sub prime mortgage backed securities are relate it to the pros and cons of enhanced regulation for commercial financial institutions.

Anonymous said...

I have a different view of today’s science and research industry “experts.”. Far too often, they are dependent on government and private research grants for their livelihood. Like political polling, the customer can usually get what whatever result it wants. Professional ethics, like with journalism, “Ain’t what it used to be.”

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember Benedictine, a morning sickness drug in the 1970's that was approved and touted that resulted in many children with birth defects, also the story of sister Kinney reminds me of how the experts vilified this women who found an effective treatment to minimize the effects of Polio. They were the experts, she was a nurse. Yet she knew from her practical experience what was effective.

Anonymous said...

8.27 I don't think anyone is adequately addressing those questions.

Anonymous said...

So many ways of looking at this. Part of the problem is that in general, attempts at "persuasion" by insulting is not effective.

But I think 7:50 AM may have hit on it.

"If 3 out of 4 medical professionals, people who have literal YEARS and DECADES of experience with the human body down to microscopic levels of detail, I'm going to choose to side with the 75%.'

I agree. And that's my choice. Why should we expect (or force) 100% of the population to follow 75% of the medical community?

Anonymous said...

How many boosters does it take before one is fully vaccinated?
We don't know yet.

By what percentage does the vaccine lower the risk of serious illness or death from COVID net of it's potential for side effects?
We don't know yet.

Then it's experimental. Read the Nuremberg Code.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:50. this decision should be based on a conversation with your doctor taking into account your medical history. Message boards, facebook, the neighbor guy in sales should not be consulted.
As I mentioned in another post, my wife has years of clinical research experience. With that comes relationships with others in the industry including doctors, pharm d's, nurses, chemists etc. All our friends that are in the industry, most medical professionals, have received the vaccine and promote it.
I have realized that life is tough but admitting what you don't know makes it easier though. I don't know jack shit about the discovery, development and approval of vaccines or other compounds for cancer or anything else. Luckily, I'm blessed to have a good family doctor and many friends that do understand these things. I have no problem taking their professional opinion on the matter. Nothing in life is bulletproof and never will be.

Anonymous said...

9:09 - And you base those assumptions on what exactly? Might want to understand how the drug approval process works first. The FDA is not the Institute for Tabaco Studies.
Vaccines aside, any idea how much time and money it takes for the average compound to go from discovery to market?

Anonymous said...

@9:01 "So, what to do? I trust nothing from this government and plan to work to oust most every Member of Congress. That group has lost its way. Something’s gotta change."

I 100% agree with that statement, but am curious do you also include MTG, Boebert, Gaetz, Cawthorne, Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Crawley in addition to AOC, Pelosi, Schumer, etc.?

Anonymous said...

simply put, Because they are idiots.

Anonymous said...

You can always count on the Government people to know what their taking about.

Anonymous said...

The money in the drug business, is in maintenance drugs, that you will need to take for the rest of your life. Real Vaccines and antibiotics are one time deals. We will likely be encouraged or forced to take all kinds of drugs in the future.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've heard several reasons for vaccine hesitancy: government distrust, distrust of drug business, etc. I understand and respect this concern. But it is important to understand that this is an emotional response, not a rational one. Moreover, you set yourself up for misinformation and outright disinformation merchants.

Anonymous said...

I'm here from the govment and I'm here to help? The main man in charge is the ten percent man.

Anonymous said...

12:28 No, the money is in the cure. If you develop a cure for cancer people will still be diagnosed with it every day. People will have to pay much more for the cure to support the research and development of these cures.
I'm sure you will refuse these drugs on principal, if you have an affliction that severely impacts you quality of life or you are terminal and would like more time on Gods green earth.
I hear about anti-vax folks dying of covid and begging for the vaccine. Most of us have no idea how we would handle our own mortality until we are on it's doorstep.

Anonymous said...

I wish distrusting government was an emotional response. Unfortunately what is "Politics" in Washington is "Felony" in the Lehigh Valley.

Schlossberg ghost-voting, Insider Trading being legal, Pawlowski, Trump, etc, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

9:01 here. To 10:52 I reply, I do realize there are at least 20 SOLID Members of Congress, so I wrote “most.”. By the way, Susan Wild is not one of those worth keeping.

To Bernie, I respectfully ask, whose definition of ‘rational’ shall I act upon? Yours? I try very hard to keep myself well-informed and hold 3 college degrees. As far as I’m concerned, I determine what is rational. My Mommy is gone. Repeat, MY assessment of what is a rational decision is all that matters to me.

I do listen to opinions from every direction. Even those of media pundits! The difference is, I will not take any single message on its face and then simply parrot what I’ve heard/read as being fact. Not everything on the internet is unworthy. The internet can be a wonderful jumping-off place to discover outstanding information. But, it takes more than just casual time. At age 70, I have that time. To wit, in my opinion, the current vaccines are too risky to expect everyone to simply follow along whatever it is Washington politicians and administration leaders are pushing. Those days are OVER, if they ever did exist.

Anonymous said...

Good news, Pfizer just announced that they will have a new vaccine for the new variant by March, maybe 3 more shots.

Anonymous said...

It is not an emotional response--a rational person cannot trust our so political leaders or the drug companies--they both cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

2:57 - Why not trust the drug companies? Did they sell you some counterfeit Viagra? or steal your girlfriend? Nothing is perfect in life so stop expecting otherwise.
I have flesh and blood I don't trust. In politicians we can only hope we vote for the best candidate.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it’s as simple as people fearing needles? If a nasal spray is developed it would be interesting to see how this boosts vaccinations.

peterjcochran said...

After Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense School at Ft.Meade Md. , I had a personal handle on sterility. We would go though decontamination tents with hot water wash down with brushes and soap ,down wind in our birthday suits. Vehicles would
Get DS2/scrub - Civilians have zero knowledge of the consequences for failure. Stupid people usually kill them self’s off early, that’s ok in my mind ,but I’ll get detractors. - so and it’s - because of their personal habits. Stupid people cost Us ,we the people of this government ,tax payers 47% ,that’s Us , in this !Republic, more than the productive bees of our self’s. So , … the progressives are attempting to get us to pay for social failures by them , look at the trial of a gay movie star that ,that I think was on crack when he conceived the “ beat up of himself “ for $4,000 ! So stupid they beat him up over a security camera that was facing away from scene. Good planning, ,AsssHole. Point is this.- don’t disregard your personal safety by not paying attention to This new strand of Covid. Former Delta patients rather than Alpha s get it. There
Is very little difference between what we did in NBC training and what they learned in hospitals all over this country last yeair. The garb,the cautions , the airflow ,the protective gear was about the same from 30 years ago. Be Safe.

Anonymous said...

Already had covid, so not getting the shot.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating responses, but why do people think that “the government” developed this vaccine? The government didn’t develop this vaccine. The government is letting you have this vaccine free of charge so that we don’t have to bury you. Frankly I’m thinking our vaccination rate might be higher if we had to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

7:18; you worked for MBC and they are all pushing the progressive agenda. Mr. Trump warned us all about what you want to do.

Anonymous said...

The number one REAL reason people haven’t taken the vaccine is because it’s been weaponized by the far right as something liberals are promoting.

And the fastest way to disenfranchise a Trumper is tell him or her that the liberals are recommending something

That’s the real reason. It’s not because the don’t know what’s in it, it’s not because the vaccine hasn’t been around long enough, and it’s not because it’s not effective. It’s because the left stand behind being vaccinated.

It’s 100% political.

Ron Karasek said...

WLEV reported today that Pennsylvania is the highest in the country for contracting COVID and the same for COVID deaths. Why would people not want a vaccine? I understand about personal choice…but geez!

Anonymous said...

The present vaccines are not protecting people from getting covid. With 290 million people vaccinated, and 100 million having had the virus. There should be very few vulnerable people. Many of the present cases are among the vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

The only part that is political is the left believes in government, they have to believe in government and then have to believe government. It is their security, their hope. Right wingers do not believe or trust government. They put their hope in either themselves or somewhere other than government. The idea that only republicans are not being vaccinated is just another political ploy to divide Americans. Many conservatives have been vaccinated.

It makes the left feel more secure, that they are the smarter, more sophisticated, part of the club. Any society that has ever placed their faith in government has been disappointed.

Anonymous said...

This is A LIE.

“Summary
What is already known about this topic?

The incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and death is higher in unvaccinated than vaccinated persons, and the incidence rate ratios are related to vaccine effectiveness.”

www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7037e1.htm



STOP spreading misinformation idiot.

Anonymous said...

Please don't make this political by damning Trump supporters. Many African Americans have not taken the vaccine and I doubt they are all Trump supporters.

Anonymous said...

Stop debating SPECIFIC posted numbers as proof no matter how you feel about this matter! Reporting of Covid-related numbers has been all over the place, even within the same reporting agencies, the same governing bodies, and the same news networks. This is a PLANNED mass confusion, in my opinion. This technique works! We’ve seen it used in trying to understand the past Presidential Election, military operations, etc.

Just do the best you can for YOU and pass by/ignore numbers claims made by others. It’s a fool’s errand. This is especially important when seeking truth from the mouths of politicians.

Anonymous said...

Republicans believe in big government too…

When it’s convenient for them.

They use the government to propose outlawing abortions. They use government to prevent teachers from teaching students americas racist past. They use government to reverse mask mandates. They use government to force transgender students to use restrooms according to their assigned both gender. They use government to make it harder for marginalized people to vote.

And the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is on topic.

https://babylonbee.com/news/new-pfizer-punch-card-lets-you-get-10th-booster-free

peterjcochran said...

Anon 1:56 - who are you ? Your so far LEFT . Turning left in circles. What the hell are “ marginalized people” that’s a new lofty LEFTY term ? l Akin to : talking to a teacher at school about your kid ,when they use EDBiz terms or jargon that’s not expressed in common communications. Makes them feel over all you commoners - THAT PAY THE TAXES that about 70% of costs are your pension and salary. That what you sound like . Print your name if your not a coward. — I do because I speak the truth, and fear now eval, as an Infantry Person , my staff and rod ,will protect me . Otherwise STFU.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely a leftist, but apparently only running circles around your three brain cells. The fact that you don’t know what marginalized people are speaks volumes about that comfy couch, or beach chair, your white privilege has afforded you in your lifetime. You probably also believe there’s no such thing as racism in this country because since you’ve never experienced it, it can’t exist. Your white privileged also affords you the ability to dismiss language that’s not American English as jargon, because you know, if it doesn’t meet your colonial standards, it’s jibber jabber. Careful, your racism is showing. Also, your “decorated” military career doesn’t impress me, it actually does the opposite, it convinced me that your masters have convinced you, through propaganda, to fight for their “freedoms.” But you didn’t fight for your freedoms or anyone else’s. You fought for special interest. The US military armed forces fight for oil and control, and you were the disposable pawn. Ever see the children of billionaires enlisted in the military? Exactly.

I bet your staff and rod will protect you because, you know, how else will you all uphold white supremacy?

Sit down old man, you’re confused.

Anonymous said...

Lets all just start with a general basic understanding of facts.

COVID is a virus.

Its a dangerous virus for 2 reasons.

#1 - it has a high impact and symptom levels on a higher % of people than regular flu viruses. Which is why we see higher hospitalizations and attributable deaths.

#2 - its transmittal rate is higher.

The vaccine DOES NOT cure you or make you completely immune to the virus. It is not a bullet proof shield against the virus. It simply reduces the odds of catching it, and if you do catch it, lessens the severity of the symptoms.

Pointing out your hesitancy for getting the vaccine by citing that people with the vaccine still get the virus is not a valid reason because it just ignores basic facts.

What should we call people who ignore basic facts?

Anonymous said...

Trump supporters?

Anonymous said...

What should we call people who ignore the basic fact of natural immunity?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:40
Assholes!
If you've had COVID-19 before, does your natural immunity work better than a vaccine?
The data is clear: Natural immunity is not better. The COVID-19 vaccines create more effective and longer-lasting immunity than natural immunity from infection.
More than a third of COVID-19 infections result in zero protective antibodies
Natural immunity fades faster than vaccine immunity
Natural immunity alone is less than half as effective than natural immunity plus vaccination
The takeaway: Get vaccinated, even if you've had COVID-19. Vaccine immunity is stronger than natural immunity.
"Natural immunity can be spotty. Some people can react vigorously and get a great antibody response. Other people don't get such a great response," says infectious diseases expert Mark Rupp, MD. "Clearly, vaccine-induced immunity is more standardized and can be longer-lasting."

Anonymous said...

@ 1:23

https://www.westernjournal.com/johns-hopkins-doc-says-natural-immunity-27-times-effective-vaccine/

Here is a link to an actual article, which I believe is a better source than your verbage. The data is clear; natural immunity is 27 x better than the vaccine.

I do agree with you that we should call those who ignore the basic facts of natural immunity assholes.

Already had covid. Nobody will ever force me to get the shot.

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are, thank you. I’ve been trying to explain this to these non-believers for months!

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you've had Covid, you do have natural immunity, but this is only temporary. You should get vaccinated when your doctor advises or else you run the risk of getting Covid-19 again. The next time, it could be more severe. I know there are differing results in two different studies. I have no idea which is correct. I do know that both natural and vaccine immunity wane over time. Hence, it is logical yo be vaccinated bc the vaccine won't kill you while Covid-19 might.

https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/natural-immunity-overview

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/hcp/answering-questions.html?s_cid=11714:covid%20immunity%20after%20infection:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY22

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/10/covid-19-vaccine-gives-5-times-protection-natural-immunity-data-show

https://www.clarkcountytoday.com/news/israeli-study-shows-natural-immunity-delivers-13-times-more-protection-than-covid-vaccines/

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you say that the vaccine won't kill you-

https://vasko.substack.com/p/vaers-data-indicates-the-covid-vaccines

Over 19,000 deaths from the vaccine.

I don't want to be taking booster shots for the rest of my life. Not getting the vaccine.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The report you cite is flawed. You are using it to confirm your omission bias.

the bottom line is that over 223 million people in the United States have been vaccinated. "We have lots of real-world evidence – in addition to clinical trial data – to indicate these vaccines are safe, and that adverse reactions to them are rare."

https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/does-vaers-list-deaths-caused-by-covid-19-vaccines