F Rosa Rubicondior: Covidiot News - Antivaxxer Covidiots Losing the Argument

Friday 8 July 2022

Covidiot News - Antivaxxer Covidiots Losing the Argument

a COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and acceptance. b COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and acceptance if recommended by employer or one’s doctor. a, b COVID-19 acceptance in June 2020 was defined as willingness to take vaccine if proven safe and effective. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in June 2021 was defined as having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and if not, willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them. Vaccine hesitancy was defined as having reported “no” to the question on whether they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and also either unsure/no opinion, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree to the question on whether they would take a COVID-19 vaccine when available to them. Four countries (Ghana, Kenya, Peru, and Turkey) were not included in the 2020 global survey. c Potential COVID-19 vaccine acceptance if recommended by employer or one’s doctor among those willing to take vaccine when available and those hesitant to vaccinate. c Potential COVID-19 vaccination was defined as willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available if recommended by employer or by doctor.
Study shows increase in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance around the world - CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy

A new study by scientists from the City University of New York School of Public Health (CUNY SPH), USA, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the School of Health Administration, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, has show a growing acceptance of the anti-Covid vaccines on a global scale between 2020 and 2021.

The team conducted a survey of 23,000 individuals from 23 countries in June 2021 and found that 75.2% reported acceptance of the vaccine, compared to 71.5% in 2020. The results of the survey were published open access in Nature Communications.
According to the CUNY SPH press release:
The study … was carried out within the context of a year of substantial but very unequal global COVID-19 vaccine availability and acceptance, which necessitated new assessments of the drivers of vaccine hesitancy and the characteristics of people not vaccinated.

Concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy and mistrust in the science behind vaccine development were the most consistent correlates of hesitancy. Other factors associated with vaccine hesitancy varied by country and included personal experience with COVID-19 (e.g., sickness or loss of a family member) and demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, education, and income).

The authors found that vaccine hesitancy did not significantly correlate with a country’s current COVID-19 case burden and mortality. In June 2021, vaccine hesitancy was reported most frequently in Russia (48.4%), Nigeria (43%), and Poland (40.7%), and least often in China (2.4%), the United Kingdom (UK) (18.8%), and Canada (20.8%).

In order to improve global vaccination rates, some countries may at present require people to present proof of vaccination to attend work, school, or indoor activities and events. Our results found strong support among participants for requirements targeting international travellers, while support was weakest among participants for requirements for schoolchildren.

Jeffrey Lazarus, lead author.
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)
Hospital Clínic
University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
And the Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, US
Support for vaccine mandates was substantially lower among those who were hesitant to get vaccinated themselves.

Importantly, however, recommendations by a doctor, or to a lesser extent by an employer, might have an impact on a respondent’s views on vaccination in some countries.

Dean Ayman El-Mohandes, co-author Graduate School of Public Health ∓ Health Policy
City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY, USA
Although some countries are currently disengaging from evidence-based COVID-19 control measures, the disease has by no means been controlled or ended as a public health threat. The authors note that for ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to succeed in improving coverage going forward, substantial challenges remain. These include targeting those reporting lower vaccine confidence with evidence-based information campaigns and greatly expanding vaccine access in low- and middle-income countries.

The Role of Social Networks

ISGlobal and the Institute #SaludsinBulos, together with the Severo Ochoa Foundation and representatives of Spanish scientific and professional societies and patient associations, held a meeting on 20 June 2022 to advance the development of a consensus on addressing vaccine hesitancy. According to data presented from a European survey carried out by the Vaccine Confidence Project, the population group most exposed to social networks—young people under 24 years of age, with secondary or university studies and living in urban areas—are the most reluctant to be vaccinated. Additionally, messages that call for vaccination as a “moral obligation” are strongly rejected compared to those that call for “protection,” which are more commonly well received.

As reflected in similar studies, one of the most popular ways of conveying anti-vaccine messages has been humor. Therefore, participants in the meeting agreed on the need to disseminate the benefits of vaccines using this same tool, but without making fun of those who have mistaken beliefs about vaccines. In the face of misinformation, it is important to improve information on vaccination using simple language and channels that reach the population, such as social networks, the participants concluded.
The team's findings are published open access, in Science Advances:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life, including health system operations, despite the availability of vaccines that are effective in greatly reducing the risks of death and severe disease. Misperceptions of COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, risks, and mistrust in institutions responsible for vaccination campaigns have been reported as factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy. This study investigated COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy globally in June 2021. Nationally representative samples of 1,000 individuals from 23 countries were surveyed. Data were analyzed descriptively, and weighted multivariable logistic regressions were used to explore associations with vaccine hesitancy. Here, we show that more than three-fourths (75.2%) of the 23,000 respondents report vaccine acceptance, up from 71.5% one year earlier. Across all countries, vaccine hesitancy is associated with a lack of trust in COVID-19 vaccine safety and science, and skepticism about its efficacy. Vaccine hesitant respondents are also highly resistant to required proof of vaccination; 31.7%, 20%, 15%, and 14.8% approve requiring it for access to international travel, indoor activities, employment, and public schools, respectively. For ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaigns to succeed in improving coverage going forward, substantial challenges remain to be overcome. These include increasing vaccination among those reporting lower vaccine confidence in addition to expanding vaccine access in low- and middle-income countries.

Interestingly, the survey shows that, especially amongst young people, appealing to their self-interest with messages that emphasise safety are more likely to reduce vaccine reluctance than messages that emphasise social responsibility or moral obligation. This is entirely consistent with the finding in the USA that evangelical Christians were the least concerned for the welfare of others - the result of a concerted campaign over the last few decades by the Republicans trumpeting the 'virtue' of private greed and demonising social and collective responsibility as 'socialism' therefore anti-American and anti-Christian. It seems that this is now a widespread attitude amongst young people, possibly through exposure to these sentiments in the social media.

It is, of course, not possible to say whether this increasingly antisocial stance of the Republicans is due to the increasingly close association of the political right with evangelical Christianity, or the increasingly antisocial attitude of evangelicals is due to an increasing influence of the political right on evangelical Christianity. As with all cult movements, it is likely that internal dynamics are tending to push the cult further towards an extreme position, as we are seing with the emergence of neo-Fascist white supremacy under cover of Christian nationalism in the USA.

The wave of serious illness and deaths from COVID-19 in the USA during the delta and omicron waves of primarily unvaccinated, Republican-supporting, Evangelical Christian covidiots in the USA that at times resembled a self-inflicted genocide, shows how inappropriate these selfish impulses are in a civilised society. Led as they are by the white evangelical churches, this illustrates the harm religions can do to society when they are controlled by malign, self-interested forces such as political extremists who manipulate the fears and ignorance of their members and dress them up as a moral crusade and what God wants.

This could be an example of two viruses - a coronavirus and the memetic, cultural virus of religion - forming a symbiotic alliance, the better to parasitise their hosts by helping both to overcome their hosts' resistance.

Thank you for sharing!

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