COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes: Personal Health Decisions Influenced by Misinformation and Politicization
American media has been inundated by discourse surrounding COVID-19, especially since the vaccine rollout. A heavily politicized issue, hesitations pertaining to vaccination cause many to wonder if COVID-19 vaccine acceptance is driven by more than scientific evidence alone. The divisive nature of our political landscape has turned the pandemic from a public health crisis to a partisan campaign token. Trends in public trust in science and media reveal divisions along party lines, further discrediting pushes for widespread vaccination. A great deal of literature has been published examining the politicization and polarization of media concerning COVID-19. Studies have shown how misinformation exposure falls along partisan lines, contributing to the politicization of the public health crisis. In this review, we find that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is different from general vaccine hesitancy, which is predominantly fueled by scientific misunderstanding. The political nature of the pandemic has given COVID-19 a unique position in the public eye, one that has granted vaccine hesitancy new urgency in America. While vaccine hesitancy is seemingly solidified in the public, we suggest a communicative change that could potentially mitigate future hesitancy.
Dr. Davon Ferrara
Stone, Trey; Ferrara, Dr. Davon; Parker, Dr. Alison; Entsminger, Dr. Kimberlee; and Williams, Dr. Christian, "COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes: Personal Health Decisions Influenced by Misinformation and Politicization" (2022). Honors Theses. 75.