Fundamental Rights Could Be in Danger: COVID-19 Unvaccinated Face Prejudice Around the World

Discrimination Concept Odd Man Out

According to new research, people around the world show prejudice and discriminatory attitudes toward individuals not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Polarization after COVID-19: Global study reveals that the unvaccinated face prejudice in most countries

Researchers call on authorities all across the world to heal the divisions in society left by the COVID-19 pandemic as the vaccinated are motivated to exclude the unvaccinated from family relationships and even protected political rights.

People show prejudice and discriminatory attitudes towards individuals not vaccinated against COVID-19 across all inhabited continents of the world. This is the finding of a global study from Aarhus University in Denmark, which has just been published today (December 8) in the journal Nature.

Many vaccinated people do not want close relatives to marry an unvaccinated person. They are also inclined to think that the unvaccinated are incompetent as well as untrustworthy, and they generally feel antipathy against them.

The study reveals that prejudice towards the unvaccinated is as high or higher than prejudice directed toward other common and diverse targets of prejudice, including immigrants, drug addicts, and ex-convicts.

In sharp contrast, researchers found that the unvaccinated display almost no discriminatory attitudes towards the vaccinated.

“The conflict between those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who are not, threatens societal cohesion as a new socio-political cleavage, and the vaccinated clearly seem to be the ones deepening this rift,” says postdoc Alexander Bor, who is the lead author of the study “Discriminatory Attitudes Against the Unvaccinated During a Global Pandemic.”

Human explanation for prejudice

According to the researchers, the reason for these discriminatory attitudes appears to be that the vaccinated perceive the unvaccinated as free riders. High vaccination uptake is crucial in order to combat the pandemic and secure the public good of normal everyday life without great human or financial losses. And when some people help increase vaccine uptake while others do not, it evokes negative sentiments.

“The vaccinated react in quite a natural way against what they perceive as free-riding on a public good. This is a well-known psychological mechanism and thus a completely normal human reaction. Nonetheless, it could have severe consequences for society,” says co-author Michael Bang Petersen, who is a professor of political science at Aarhus University and head of the research project of which this study is part.

”In the short run, prejudice towards the unvaccinated may complicate pandemic management because it leads to mistrust, and we know that mistrust hinders vaccination uptake. In the long run, it may mean that societies leave the pandemic more divided and polarised than they entered it,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

Michael Bang Petersen

Professor Michael Bang Petersen, Aarhus University, Denmark. Credit: Ida Marie Jensen, Aarhus University

Fundamental rights could be in danger

A survey fielded solely in the United States as part of the overall study shows that not only do vaccinated people harbor prejudice against the unvaccinated, they also think they should be denied fundamental rights. For instance, the unvaccinated should not be allowed to move into the neighborhood or express their political views on social media freely, without fear of censorship.

“It is likely that we will encounter similar support for the restriction of rights in other countries, seeing as the prejudice and antipathy can be found across continents and cultures,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

Researchers warn against condemnatory rhetoric

In many places, low vaccine uptake still poses a challenge to pandemic management, but the researchers warn authorities against employing a rhetoric of moral condemnation in their attempt to make more people get vaccinated. A strategy otherwise deployed in a number of countries, including France, where president Emmanuel Macron has stated that he wants to ‘piss off’ the unvaccinated to a degree that will make them get vaccinated.

”Moral condemnation may strengthen the cleavages and further feelings of exclusion that have led many unvaccinated to refuse the vaccine in the first place. Our prior research has shown that transparent communication about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines is a more viable public-health strategy for increasing vaccine uptake in the long term,” says Michael Bang Petersen.

Reference: “Discriminatory Attitudes Against the Unvaccinated During a Global Pandemic” by Alexander Bor, Frederik Jørgensen and Michael Bang Petersen, 8 December 2022, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05607-y

Funding: Carlsberg Foundation, Danish National Research Foundation

20 Comments on "Fundamental Rights Could Be in Danger: COVID-19 Unvaccinated Face Prejudice Around the World"

  1. Let Darwin work his magic.
    As these vaccinated people die-off they will continue to look for any/every excuse to blame it happening besides the obvious.
    They refuse to admit they made a horribly uninformed decision based on lies and propaganda.

  2. “… people around the world show prejudice and discriminatory attitudes toward individuals not vaccinated against COVID-19.”

    As well they should. They are attempting to protect themselves from others who exhibit little concern for the welfare of others. It was in the best interest of society to prohibit Typhoid Mary from cooking meals for large groups of people.

    One’s rights only extend as far as to infringe on the rights of others. The concerns of antivaxers may have validity. But, at the moment, the best available consensus medical advice is that the COVID vaccines do what they are supposed to do, which is to save lives. The concerns of antivaxers should be given careful consideration. However, at the moment, it appears that most of the concerns are unsupported speculation, perhaps driven by unspoken religious beliefs. Until such time as it might be shown that the net risk from the COVID vaccines exceeds the benefits, one would be prudent to view unvaccinated people as potential carriers, like Typhoid Mary.

    • johnny b. Goode. | December 8, 2022 at 12:29 pm | Reply

      You are a True Believer. And that’s not a compliment.

      • It’s not like I need a compliment from some unknown, anonymous person of indeterminate competency who can’t address specific issues.

        First and foremost, I trust science and the Scientific Method, not people who are long on opinion and short on demonstrated expertise. Why should I trust someone’s opinion whose primary contribution to a science website is an insult? Personal attacks are typically the refuge of those who don’t have verifiable facts and sound logic.

        • I think the uninformed are actually the people that allow a poison to be injected into their body without learning the actual side effects of it and actual proof of physical harm being done by not being informed. Maybe the brainwashed are not intelligent enough to read up on the dangers of the vaccine. 😡

          • I have been following this issue closely from the very beginning and would say that I’m very well-informed for a layman. It is my impression that most activists who recommend alternatives to vaccines are the ones who are unfamiliar with medical side effects.

            It is very arrogant of you to suggest that I’m brainwashed, and that because you disagree with my position, you are intellectually superior. Stating that may make you feel good, but it is an unsupported statement that is all too common from those who don’t understand how logic works.

            Speaking of reading, if you go back and re-read my original comment (You have read it, right?) I acknowledge that “The concerns of antivaxers should be given careful consideration.” My position is that everything from common foods to OTC medicines can have undesirable side effects, and people need to take personal responsibility for their well being. However, for pandemics, one has to consider the net effects on society, and not shut down a treatment program because a minority have problems with the treatment. Alternatives, such as quarantine should be considered. However, with all the complaints about masks, there would undoubtedly be many who would whine about quarantining as well.

            We all take risks in life, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. Therefore, we sometimes have to trust, such as that the person in a car coming towards us won’t suddenly veer over the center-line. I trusted my personal physician, and the recommendation of the VA, and got 4 shots. For me, it was the right decision. The side effects were no worse than for any other vaccine I’ve ever received, and I apparently haven’t had COVID, unless I was asymptomatic.

            What is dangerous is laymen like yourself who consider themselves more knowledgeable than physicians, and publicly oppose vaccinations. If you aren’t licensed to practice medicine, you should give careful consideration to providing medical evaluations.

        • Charles G. Shaver | December 9, 2022 at 11:24 am | Reply

          Clyde, on behalf of all of us “…long on opinion and short on demonstrated expertise…” I trust in “…science and the Scientific Method…” too, I just don’t trust scientists and public officials on Big Pharma’s payroll. And, more logically and specifically, I’d like to point it out that in 2019 I found in 2017 (CDC/NCHS/NVSS; perhaps the last year of official mortality statistics I’ll ever trust) that on an average day 7,703 Americans died from all causes. In conjunction with my own chronic illness history, then, of thirty-six years and counting, already with a lot of experience with too-common symptomology and writing thousands of professional others beginning with the FDA (with replies) in October of 2005 mostly ‘in-vain,’ in conjunction with Johns Hopkins researchers announcing “medical error” to be the third leading cause of death in the US (about 300K to 400K/year) in May of 2016, in conjunction with today’s alleged US total of 1,109,394 (worldometers dot info) Covid-19 deaths it should be obvious to you too that today’s total is roughly what we could expect in the same time frame of mere medical errors in a growing population. May I suggest it is those of us with sufficient ‘common sense’ and minimal research resources and skills who should most fear the contamination by the unproved vaccines (and toxic additives) on the human species?

          • I believe the medical error category for deaths is primarily things like mistakes during surgery, mis-diagnoses, and prescription mistakes. I lost a good friend who had heart surgery because he was prescribed two medicines that were antagonistic and counteracted each other. That usually is the result of one human making a mistake, unlike a vaccine development and subsequent vaccination program that many expert people are involved in and there is plenty of feedback to correct poor decisions. It you expect perfection in life, you will be disappointed. Humans are fallible.

    • Charles G. Shaver | December 9, 2022 at 5:32 am | Reply

      Chronically ill since 1981 (e.g., food allergies aggravated with added MSG since 1980) and merely studying US chronic disease and mortality statistics in late 2019, I knew early in 2020 the alleged “Covid-19 pandemic” was a farce, a fraud, a hoax and a scam; a ‘scamdemic.’ On one hand, now, also knowing that ‘total equality’ is a function of the unconscious mind and consciousness may be defined as the ‘ability to discriminate,’ I am mortified to see how many seemingly educated, intelligent people are still running around upright in their sleep. Like the so-called “Great Recession,” the so-called “pandemic” is just another ‘great redistribution of working-class wealth to the rich,’ albeit with a lot more illegal, immoral, unconstitutional (US) and just plain stupid attempted slavery added. Statistically, the real risks are undiagnosed allergies, FDA approved food poisoning and related/resultant medical errors (e.g., Johns Hopkins researchers in May of 2016), mostly to older persons already at high risk of premature mortality due to largely FDA instigated preexisting conditions and comorbidities.

    • I suggest you find some folks who have suffered myocarditis, pulmonary embolisms, strokes or other adverse reactions and hear what their doctors are saying. Once strong supporters of the vax, those docs are now telling their patients they were wrong. I have personal knowledge of some. Or find someone who works in your local hospital who can tell you that the covid floor is comprised of virtually all vaxxed folks. I have personal knowledge of some. Or read some of the studies that get leaked from other countries before censorship and see all the suppressed data. Or look at all the ‘sudden’ deaths of supposedly healthy adults and ask were they vaxxed? Ask why the red cross asks if you have been vaxxed before blood donations.
      Or just look at the difference in numbers of deaths annually since the vax. The evidence is everywhere. The question is whether you choose to see it.

  3. Yeah, and bubonic plague sufferers caught a lot of flack in their day, too, for some silly reason.

  4. The picture at the beginning of this article is spot-on, though mis-labled. The correct label should be a mRNA gene therapy survivor (in red) and those with naturally provided immunity, are in blue.

    Unfortunately, there are still some very serious unknowns, i.e., spike protein spreading, DNA transcription via bodily fluids (breast milk, sperm, blood, etc.) and who knows what else.

    Over the thousands of years that humans’ immune systems have evolved, they tend to be a Km wide and a CM deep. After these injections, now one’s man-made immune system is 1 CM wide and 1 Km deep. Thus the reason for all the boosters, though, they all fall into the “closing the gate after the cow is already out of the barn” scenario. A day late and a dollar short.

    • Are you advocating that society abandon medicine and let Nature take its course? Long term, that would probably work. However, people tend to get emotionally attached to family members and friends and prefer that they live long, pain-free lives. That is the origin of physicians — people who have empathy for the sick, and try to extend their lives and relieve pain.

  5. Mehhh, Speaking purely as an unvaxxed intelligent individual who works in a medical job where I have a view in the 1st covid patient where I live, through COVID, and now the effects of the “vax”, I am damn glad I didn’t take it.

  6. Charles G. Shaver | December 11, 2022 at 10:46 am | Reply

    Clyde Spencer, I submit that the kind of ‘medical errors’ I’m referring to are primarily of the ‘misdiagnosis’ variety. Sadly, mainstream medicine still fails to recognize and research my (Dr. Coca’s) kind of long-term very, very mild chronic subclinical non-IgE-mediated food/additive allergies as true allergies. Hence, they label things like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity as diseases, rather than the mere symptoms they actually are. An example of a Covid-19 medical error would be giving a dairy and/or soy based enteral feeding formula to a comatose patient not known to be sensitive to dairy and/or soy in an ICU. It appeared the rate of mortality in ICUs declined after I wrote a national nurse’s organization of such, with no reply or thanks. I don’t really need the credit to know when I help to fill a void. Unlike many healthcare professionals, I see it as my duty as a human being and an American senior with rare (if not unique) medical insights to do what I can. There’s more on the “About” page of my Odysee dot com video channel.

  7. Wow can’t believe there are people still believe the the bull they have been pushing . This vaccine is one big lie I’m no
    Genuine, yes. But I would never trust the government with my life or my family’s health.
    Population controll that all I have to say and I hope my feelings about this vaccine don’t come true .

  8. My reasons for not getting vaxxed have nothing to do with religious beliefs. I have six autoimmune disorders, so as I began reading info from the WHO and CDC there was so much conflicting information, and still is by the way, there was no way I felt safe getting it. I have a friend with two best friends who contracted very serious health issues after being vaxxed – one now has multiple sclerosis! My niece has an allergic reaction to them. I have four adult kids and my entire family is split 50/50 on vax/non-vax. No discrimination among us. I continue to read the health organizations’ findings and at best it sometimes, 15%, protects the ones who get the vaccine and those immunized continue to carry the germs everywhere to everyone vaccinated or not. I hate it but there is no win in all of this and we can’t blame or shame anyone for their choice to vax or not. None of it helps.

    • Charles G. Shaver | December 12, 2022 at 8:25 am | Reply

      Ann, no offense intended but your photo suggests you have a medically undiagnosed food allergy or two that probably won’t indicate-for with skin-prick or RAST IgE antibody allergy testing. If so, you possibly passed something on to a child or two. I regret the best way I can suggest to identify your personal food sensitivities is pulse testing (Dr. Arthur F. Coca) and/or keeping a daily diet diary including when you feel better and when you feel worse. More on the “About” page of my Odysee dot com video channel if you can find it. In particular, standard blood serum testing for calcium is unreliable and mothers are more likely to be deficient than most others.

  9. Confirmation of:

    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of ’em are stupider than that.”
    — George Carlin

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.