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Explained: Why vaccination hesitancy still persists; and how to beat it

Explained: Why vaccination hesitancy still persists; and how to beat it

Explained: Why vaccination hesitancy still persists; and how to beat it
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 25, 2021 7:52 PM IST (Published)

For the staunchest anti-vaxxers, societal pressures and mandates may not work; and only being afflicted with the disease could change their minds. 

Vaccination programmes have been undertaken by various nations with an aim to protect their populations against COVID-19. But even as countries try to hike their vaccination rates, they are facing a slowdown after the initial uptick in numbers. One of the major reasons for this is increasing vaccine hesitancy in the unvaccinated population.

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What is vaccine hesitancy? 
Vaccine hesitancy is the phenomenon of people hesitating, delaying, or simply refusing to take shots in general, or in particular cases and diseases. It can be influenced by factors such as a lack of proper knowledge and understanding of how vaccines are made or how they work;  complacency, convenience, or even fear of needles.
Vaccine hesitancy often spreads in communities like an infection and results in the outbreaks. The increased prevalence of vaccine hesitancy has been deemed as a global health threat by the World Health Organization.
What can be done about it?
Vaccine hesitancy spreads due to misinformation proliferating through digital media channels. One of the key ways to battle vaccine hesitancy is to combat the misinformation pandemic and increase information advocacy programmes.
While countries have increasingly begun to rely on vaccine mandates to force people to vaccinate in the short term, these moves have been used by far-right political and fringe groups to get a public platform and gain increasing popularity.
Other experts have said social pressure is one of the best ways to combat vaccine hesitancy. Many organisations, especially those in the retail or service sectors, are asking their employees to get vaccinated.
For theatres, shopping malls, airlines and more, it’s imperative to have vaccinated employees and choosing to remain unvaccinated may mean losing their jobs. Industry bodies have already asked hotels, bars and restaurants not to allow unvaccinated customers in many areas. This kind of rejection often proves to be a bigger incentive for anti-vaxxers to finally vaccinate.
However, for the staunchest anti-vaccination advocates, even societal pressures and mandates do not work; and only being afflicted with the disease may change their minds.
 
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