The Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular the unprecedented crisis of distrust towards our scientists and governments, has led to the emergence of a new population of vaccine skeptics who are hesitant to take vaccines for fear of side effects.
The Covid-19 health crisis has led to a new population of vaccine skeptics, who, in addition to the existing anti-vaxxers, will make up more than 20% of the US population by the end of 2020. These new skeptics are mostly confused by the contradictory information coming from both the scientists and the government.
Vaccine skeptics who are more likely to be young and female
These are generally people who are likely to believe that there is not enough information and solid reviews of the vaccines against Covid-19 and who are waiting to know more before making a decision. The fear of side effects is the most common fear mentioned by vaccine skeptics. Everyone weighs up the benefits and risks of vaccination. It is not surprising that young people are more skeptical about vaccines than older people because they consider themselves to be at very low risk of severe complications. Women are also more likely to be skeptical of vaccines than men. This difference could be explained by the fact that the responsibility for the health of children and the home in general, falls with women, which increases their level of anxiety.
Moreover, however, no link has been found between the skepticism about the vaccine and the socio-economic class. Distrust is generally more pronounced in the working class but in the case of the current COVID-19 crisis, it seems that all classes of people are affected.
The vicious circle of lack of trust between the population and the government
The cause of this distrust of Covid-19 vaccines is a loss of confidence in the government that began in the 1990s with the hepatitis B vaccine controversy. The latter was suspected of causing autism and multiple sclerosis, allegations that were later largely refuted by scientific research. But the damage was done. In 2009, the H1N1 crisis threw a new nail in the coffin of trust in leaders. The massive ordering of vaccines at that time had aroused fears of economic collusion between the government and the pharmaceutical companies. These two issues are largely responsible for the loss of confidence which has lead to such distrust in vaccines in 2020.