Should governments force their citizens to vaccinate? This question is more relevant than ever in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but a new study suggests that getting vaccinated may be counterproductive.
The study dealt with opinion polls of 2,653 German residents in the first and second waves pandemic, analyzes how attitudes have changed over time throughout 2020. The federal government has pledged to voluntarily maintain vaccines for its residents.
Although infection rates in Germany were 15 times higher during the second wave in October and November, the data showed that resistance to mandatory vaccinations increased compared to the first wave in April and May.
Participants were asked about the likelihood of vaccination based on whether vaccinations were required by law or voluntary: in both waves, people were more willing to be vaccinated if they had not. to have It closed, but the gap was bigger the second time around.
“Costly mistakes can be avoided if policy makers carefully weigh the costs of enforcement.” Economist Samuel Bowles says: Is the Santa Fe Institute.
“It can lead not only to increased resistance to vaccination, but also to exacerbate social conflict, further isolating citizens from government or scientific and medical elites.”
The researchers also looked at some predictors of vaccination approval and there was significant reliance on public institutions. Doubts about the efficacy of vaccines and the rejection of personal restrictions on freedom were also closely related.
However, one more thing points to the team behind the study: When vaccinations are voluntary, more people will be persuaded to take them when they see friends and family getting bitten. When vaccinations are mandatory, this multiplier effect is reduced.
This multiplier effect is similar to the spread of new technologies – like televisions and washing machines when they were introduced – as more and more people get them, and more and more people want the same thing as others who already enjoy the benefits.
The researchers also hypothesized that forcing people to vaccinate removes their ability to act to do good (so important for convincing healthy people to vaccinate), because it is excessively controlling and reduces confidence in the vaccine—because if the vaccine is safe and effective, why is the application necessary?
“Surveillance affects people’s attitudes toward vaccination in two ways – it can dampen the sentiments of vaccination advocates and reduce the positive impact of compliance when vaccination is voluntary.” Psychologist and behavioral economist Catherine Schmelz saysfrom the University of Constance, Germany.
Schmels and Bowles acknowledge that mandatory vaccinations can play a role in some countries and situations – such as particularly low vaccination rates – but say this approach should be approached with caution.
Countries and organizations are now beginning to provide immunization guidance to participate in the events or courses, or travel to certain placesIt is more important than ever to understand the different reasons that can lead to reluctance to vaccinate.
The findings here can come in handy in any scenario where leaders want to change the minds of their employees – from promoting a low-carbon lifestyle to increasing tolerance among societies. Sometimes a softer approach is better.
“Our findings have widespread political application beyond COVID-19, ” mina di. “There are many instances where voluntary compliance by citizens is necessary because government oversight capacity is limited and outcomes may depend on how the guidelines themselves change citizens’ beliefs and preferences.”
The study was published in PNAS.