Vaccine Confidence Declined Significantly During COVID-19 Pandemic

Vaccine Hesitancy

According to a new study, vaccine confidence declined considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. This decrease in confidence was observed regardless of age, gender, religious belief, education, or ethnicity.

Researchers comparing pre and post-pandemic surveys discovered that confidence in vaccinations is considerably lower post-pandemic among all demographic groups.

Despite the success of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, vaccine confidence has declined significantly since the start of the pandemic. This is according to a new study published in Vaccine.

Two anonymous surveys in the winters of 2019 and 2022 were carried out to investigate people’s attitudes towards vaccinations and the factors that might underpin hesitancy and refusal by researchers from the University of Portsmouth in England.

By comparing the responses of more than 1,000 adults overall, they discovered that the post-pandemic group was considerably less confident in vaccines than the pre-pandemic group.

Recently published in the medical journal Vaccine, the paper revealed nearly one in four participants reported a fall in confidence since 2020, and this was observed regardless of participants’ age, ethnicity, gender, religious belief, and education.

Dr. Alessandro Siani, Associate Head (Students) of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, said: “While vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon, COVID-19 vaccines have been met with particular hostility despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of their safety and effectiveness.

“This isn’t just among conspiracy theorists though, but also those who don’t consider themselves ‘anti-vaxxers’ and had supported other vaccination campaigns in the past.”

Participants were asked how much they agreed with statements including:

  • Vaccines are safe
  • I think vaccines should be a compulsory practice
  • I believe if I get vaccinated it would benefit the wellbeing of others
  • Vaccines are a necessity for our health and wellbeing

In both surveys, participants who held religious beliefs were significantly more vaccine-hesitant than atheist and agnostic ones, and individuals from Black and Asian backgrounds were more hesitant than those belonging to White ethnicities. However, gender showed no association with vaccine confidence.

While these overall trends remained largely similar between the two surveys, some noteworthy changes were observed in the post-pandemic survey. For example, the analysis revealed that while in 2019 middle-aged participants were considerably more apprehensive about getting vaccinated than younger groups, this was not the case in the 2022 survey.

“This could be because COVID-19 infections notoriously lead to more severe outcomes in older patients,” added Dr. Siani.

“Young people who are infected rarely experience severe symptoms that lead to hospitalization and death, so it’s possible that many have become complacent and don’t feel the need to get vaccinated. On the other hand, older people may have been more wary of the consequences of the infection, and more appreciative of the protection offered by the vaccine.”

While providing precious insight into how the pandemic affected the public perspectives on vaccinations, the study is not without limitations. The original survey was designed as a standalone piece of research, so a different group of people had to be sampled in 2022. This resulted in a cross-sectional study as opposed to a longitudinal one.

Dr. Siani explained: “We didn’t expect a worldwide pandemic to break out only a few months after carrying out the 2019 survey. Because our findings don’t reflect the changing opinions of the same group of people over time, but rather a comparison of responses provided by two different cohorts, they should be interpreted with a grain of salt.

“However, the study is consistent with other observations suggesting that vaccine confidence may be yet another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reference: “Is vaccine confidence an unexpected victim of the COVID-19 pandemic?” by Alessandro Siani and Amy Tranter, 31 October 2022, Vaccine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.10.061

6 Comments on "Vaccine Confidence Declined Significantly During COVID-19 Pandemic"

  1. Misha Rauchwerger | December 19, 2022 at 8:39 pm | Reply

    of course the study fails to differentiate between real vaccines from the mRNA jab. Is it possible that people might be smart enough to be confident in the vaccines of old, but reluctant to take an experimental injection that is substantially different in its mechanism, as well as efficacy.

  2. When the Authorities lie about something, then yes we do get suspicious. Then add to that, Facebook, Twitter and mainstream media have all confirmed they lied, and the CDC lied. So yeah, no one trust you guys anymore. Actually, we stopped trusting Scientist after they constructed Nuclear Fire to burn us all to death.

  3. “Despite the success of the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns,”

    Are we supposed to take that serious? If so this sites credibility goes way down.
    Success my rosy red butt.
    Experimental jab given under “emergency” declaration that does not keep you from getting infected or transmitting after infection while causing deadly side effects.

  4. Force it on me and then when it’s not effective do not apologize. Ignore all the injury claims and recommend the babies get it even though kids are not at risk. Cram me into a full flight and say the filters ‘seem’ to kill it..,

  5. Baffling.
    I’m a vaccine maximalist; I want my smallpox shot, my polio shot, maybe even gimme Lymerix after they pulled that off the market. I won’t get those diseases, but who knows? Over Covid19, my confidence in authorities collapsed, making me question what a vaccine is. When most people you know get 6 shots of 3 vaccines for 1 virus, who then get covid twice, were those vaccines? Did any of them improve health or wellbeing? Is that a new definition where a vaccine is a therapeutic versus actually conferring immunity? What about non-neutralizing vaccines like for covid that cannot benefit others? When authorities use all their power to force everyone, and their vaccines demonstrably create ineffective antibodies against current subvariants, what does that mean? If your doctor insists on it or won’t see you, while every other doctor is drummed out of the profession, will you ever listen to your doctor? What if you know someone who died of unknown or directly-attributable causes a day after getting the vaccine? It’s beyond authorities acting on best intentions and making errors in an emergency. It’s even beyond confidence in the concept of vaccination. Where do we go from here? From my perspective, the three in four participants surveyed without a fall in confidence are wrong, unless they were already ‘anti-vaxxers’.

  6. Can they really call it scientific when we get the chicken pox, we get natural immunity. They were pushing the shot even when people already had the virus and wonderful natural immunity. I know twins who both had virus. The one with the shot died after berating her twin for not getting the shot. The other is still living. My sister couldn’t walk without pain (walker) after her first and only Pfizer shot for 7 weeks! She had been walking for 5-7 miles 3x a week. No thanks. We got the virus and took the remedy that the government was telling doctors not to give and fever went away in 3 hours. Government sent letters to doctors and NP’s that they would lose licenses if they prescribed! So wrong and sinister! Been proven effective since and they have a lot of people’s blood on their hands!

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