MP ANDREW BRIDGEN On The Politics Of Vaccine Reluctance

POLITICS ACROSS THE POND: Why would a citizen refuse a potentially life-saving vaccination? Member of the UK Parliament, Andrew Bridgen weighs in on the politics of vaccine reluctance in his column for The Pavlovic Today.

There is a well-used saying that "hope sustains," and all the hope at the moment appears to be that the various vaccines now approved and those still undergoing development will bring an end to the pandemic and the associated restrictions. Meanwhile, countries worldwide continue to chase vaccine supplies for their populations who are increasingly tired of the lockdown measures. Indeed without the salvation of vaccination, it seems increasingly unlikely that the citizens will continue to comply with their governments' demands for continued transmission, suppressing lockdowns. Civil unrest is being seen in parts of the world where their governments are judged to have failed to secure the vaccine's timely supply.

The scientists and experts who have taken center stage, and whose recommendations have massively influenced all of our lives for the last 12 months, have invented and brought into common usage a new phrase, "vaccine reluctance." This is the refusal of an individual within the population to take a vaccine when offered it.

Why, when we are being told that vaccination is the only way out of this crisis and international relations are being strained due to the competition for these valuable resources, would a citizen refuse a potentially life-saving vaccination? And does it matter?

The reasons for vaccine reluctance are certainly many and varied, some clearly will have concerns due to allergic reactions, but mostly it's about trust.: trust in governments, trust in the scientists, and trust in big pharma. Interestingly the levels of reported vaccine reluctance vary considerably within the population of a country.

A study of this phenomenon was recently published in the well-respected scientific journal Nature Medicine. It studied the differing attitudes to accepting the vaccine in 19 countries, and the data was weighted for age, income, and level of education. The results make interesting reading.

The very successful UK roll-out of the vaccine has so far achieved over an 85% take-up, given that this is in the demographic groups facing the most risk from the virus, such an acceptance rate is perhaps not surprising. There is cause for some concern within these figures as take-up within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) population in the UK is markedly lower, despite their risk of severe illness or death from infection being considered higher than the average of their age group cohort.

The study's outliers are very interesting and show us that the Chinese population with its own state-produced vaccine is the most willing to be vaccinated, or perhaps the least willing to defy the state. The Russian populous, also with its own state-produced vaccine being the most reluctant, given the Putin regime's recent much-reported actions, is not surprising.

The figures are clearly a vote of confidence or otherwise in their respective scientists and governments. Many of the vaccines on offer, particularly in developed countries, are the product of international collaboration. I think it's more about public confidence in their Government. We are seeing a situation where some individuals have decided that their lack of trust in their government outweighs their fear of serious illness or death from the virus, and this is very telling.

I expect to be offered the vaccine before the end of April, and I will take it. Still, I am vehemently opposed to any moves to mandatory Government vaccination programs, which I believe would be both a gross infringement of human rights and counter-productive.

Finally, these figures should surely be of more than passing interest to any elected politician facing elections in the near future. Perhaps things are not looking so good for President Macron? 

 

Read also: Andrew BRIDGEN: The vaccination scandal is an existential threat to the EU

Comments

Find us at

Twitter RSS Flipboard

Share This Article!

Like this article?

Tags

Andrew Bridgen Politics Across the Pond UK vaccine pandemic vaccine reluctance COVID-19

Related stories

The Inside Story: How Kevin McCarthy got to keep Liz Cheney and at the same time appease Donald Trump's wing of the party

The Inside Story: How Kevin McCarthy got to keep Liz Cheney and at the same time appease Donald Trump's wing of the party

On Tuesday night at The Capital Grille, the ultimate place in Washington DC to see and be seen, normally convivial Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen had broken up into groups, in what seemed like segregation along infighting…

Read more trending_flat
We Need To Ban The Use Of Lead In All Bullets And Fishing Weights

We Need To Ban The Use Of Lead In All Bullets And Fishing Weights

There is a common misconception that hunting and fishing enthusiasts and the environmental lobby are perpetually at odds with each other.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While hunters and commercial and recreational…

Read more trending_flat
Robert Malley Should Not Be The US Envoy To Iran

Robert Malley Should Not Be The US Envoy To Iran

In the first few weeks of his presidency, Biden was met with a critical and prescriptive decision to appoint the U.S.'s envoy to Iran. Rumors circulated that he would pick Robert Malley, one of the lead negotiators on the Iran…

Read more trending_flat
MP Andrew BRIDGEN: The vaccination scandal is an existential threat to the EU

MP Andrew BRIDGEN: The vaccination scandal is an existential threat to the EU

The conflict between parties is always exacerbated when they are in competition or perceived competition for scarce and valuable resources. We see this behavior on both an individual and national level. Cast your mind back to the scenes…

Read more trending_flat
MP ANDREW BRIDGEN: Witch-hunt against Trump is neither healthy nor desirable

MP ANDREW BRIDGEN: Witch-hunt against Trump is neither healthy nor desirable

In the UK, we have former PM Theresa May attacking the current PM Boris Johnson. Across the pond,  the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden is going after the now defeated Donald J. Trump. Former PM Theresa May faced considerable…

Read more trending_flat
EXCLUSIVE: New Serbian Ambassador To The US, Marko Djuric, Has A Message for Americans

EXCLUSIVE: New Serbian Ambassador To The US, Marko Djuric, Has A Message for Americans

This year marks an important anniversary for The United States and Serbia: 140 years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two great nations. In 1881, when just a handful of modern countries even…

Read more trending_flat

Latest article

Top