MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

THE GUARDIAN published an interesting article about vaccination hesitancy yesterday. Here is a short passage from it:

One major missing piece of the puzzle, currently under consideration, is a strategy that gets to the bottom of why 5 million people remained unvaccinated, especially those in communities with an ingrained distrust of authority.

No 10 even turned to an artificial intelligence (AI) company earlier in the year to determine the causes of vaccine hesitancy, but Whitehall sources acknowledge there is still a lack of understanding about how many of the unvaccinated remain so because of entrenched anti-vax ideology, misconceptions that could be turned around, a lack of time or transport to get to vaccine centres, or just apathy.

Yesterday, it was also reported in DER STANDARD that the Austrian Science Minister Martin Polaschek has commissioned a study from Statistics Austria, which for the first time was to look at the vaccination status of the population according to socio-economic characteristics.

The study yielded fascinating findings that might shed some light on the phenomenon of ‘entrenched anti-vax ideology’:

  • Across all age groups, the proportion of vaccinated persons, including recovered persons, is 67%.
  • Slightly less than four percent of the population are only recovered, and about 30% are neither one nor the other.
  • There are no marked differences between men and women.
  • The willingness to vaccinate is strongly related to the level of education.
  • The vaccination rate in the group of 25-64 year-olds with a university degree is about 84% and thus significantly higher than among those who have only basic education (68%).
  • In this age group, it also seems important whether someone has a job (76%) or not (69%).
  • People employed in the information and communication sector (85%) and public administration (83%) are the most likely to be vaccinated.
  • Workers in agriculture and forestry (67%) and construction (65%) are the least likely to accept vaccinations.
  • Health and social services personnel have a vaccination rate of 79%.
  • More than half of the 600,000 schoolchildren had already been vaccinated, and in the upper secondary school it was even 72%.
  • The rate among teachers is also high, at 85%.
  • 86% of the approximately 395,000 students at universities had been vaccinated.
  • As 92% of all medical students were vaccinated.
  • The vaccination rate among Austrian nationals, at about 70%, is clearly higher than that of people without an Austrian passport (52%).
  • The difference between those born in Austria and those not born in Austria is only five percentage points.
  • The willingness to be vaccinated is higher among people from Turkey (73%) than among those born in Austria (68%).
  • Among Germans and Afghans, it is around 72%.
  • People from Romania (43%) and the Russian Federation (45%) have the lowest vaccination rates.
  • The percentage of vaccinated people is highest among those between 75 and 84 years.

Similar findings have, of course, been reported from other countries. However, what seems new to me here is the finding that vaccination rates are strongly correlated to the level of education: the anti-vax brigade tends to be uneducated and ignorant. If confirmed, this suggests that education might be a way to make them accept vaccinations.

PS

Of course, correlation is not causality. But there seems to be a dose-response relationship between education and willingness to vaccinate. This makes a causal effect more likely.

 

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THOSE WHO KNOW NOTHING MUST BELIEVE EVERYTHING

 

 

49 Responses to Anti-vaxers tend to be uneducated and ignorant – THOSE WHO KNOW NOTHING MUST BELIEVE EVERYTHING

  • Vax-lovers believe that [All] vaccines are safe and effective [for Everyone, All the time] which on the face of it shows ignorance and a lack of education. Its like saying that [all] drugs are safe and effective.

    I notice that they lump health and social services people together. Social Service workers are probably pretty thoroughly propagandized and coerced into taking the vaccine since they have a job requiring lots of face time with clients. It would be interesting to see what the rate is among just the health care workers. I bet the rate is a lot lower. They see the results of all the vaccinated people being admitted with “adverse consequences.” This study deliberately is trying to hide that fact, apparently. They probably know that the UK govt reported that 30,000 people died within 21 days of receiving the Covid vaccination in the first 6 months of the rollout.

    This study report stops at comparing those with a university degree to those with basic education. I have seen studies that say those with even higher level degrees are less likely to be vaccinated.

    They should include in these figures what percentage were vaccinated unwillingly, i.e. coerced into it by employers and other institutions like schools. You can see an indication in the comparison of those with and without jobs.

    Are they trying to imply that Romanians and Russians are uneducated and ignorant? That is pretty crude.

    • only morons can state that people who are pro-vaccination believe that [All] vaccines are totally safe.

      • Routinely vax-lovers lump all vaxs together. If you criticizes vaccines in any way, they respond “Well look at how wonderful the polio or measles or small pox vaccines are.” Which is a non-sequitor unless one is actually discussing those vaccines.

        Making the blanket statement “Vaccines are safe and effective” is fully implying [All] vaccines are safe and effective [for Everyone, All the time]. How can it be read any other way? There is no qualification in that statement.

        • “Routinely vax-lovers lump all vaxs together.”
          this is not true; if you disagree show me the evidence.
          “There is no qualification in that statement.”
          if the post is about COVID, only seriously daft people would draw this conclusion.

        • @Roger
          Yes Roger, ALL vaccines on the market are safe and effective(*). As in: serious side effects are extremely rare in all vaccines, and all vaccines cause a significant reduction in disease burden, by preventing the disease and/or by reducing the severity of the disease and/or by reducing transmission of the disease.

          So why do you insist on behaving like a simpleton by interpreting the terms ‘safe’ and ‘effective’ in a way that no normal human does? By your definition, the word ‘safe’ is in fact meaningless, as nothing is absolutely 100% unfailingly safe. By the same token, your definition of ‘effective’ appears to be a good example of the Nirvana fallacy: it’s worthless if it’s not 100% effective all of the time.

          But I think I understand your mindset: as a proponent of quackery, you are aware that people receive alternative treatments that are almost always ineffective and occasionally even unsafe, and you make the mistake of judging real medicine and in particular vaccination by the same standards.

          *: Otherwise they wouldn’t be used of course.

    • They see the results of all the vaccinated people being admitted with “adverse consequences.”

      No they don’t, Rog. They look at all the unvaccinated people being admitted to their ICUs. And despair.

      They probably know that the UK govt reported that 30,000 people died within 21 days of receiving the Covid vaccination in the first 6 months of the rollout.

      And how many of those people died as a result OF the vaccination then, Rog?

      The level of continued wilful, blinkered ignorance you continue to display is quite headshaking.

    • “I have seen studies…”–Citations please.

      “Are they trying to imply that Romanians and Russians are uneducated and ignorant?”–They aren’t implying anything, they’re reporting data. The reasons may be complex and “uneducated” and “ignorant” are roughly the same thing. Ignorant is not the same as stupid.

      • Funny. I wonder if their ai took into account all the people FORCED TO TAKE THE VACCINES OR NOT GO TO SCHOOL OR TO WORK? Of course it didn’t. Did it take into account the 600,000 injured or dead after taking the vaccine? No, of course not. Did it take into account those who were injured or died during the trials for the vaccine were exactly alike? No, it only took into account what the bias scientists input, so it looks legit. Lol

        • @Angel
          Thank you for providing some examples of this blog post’s main topic. Hint: for increased entertainment value, next time also include external sources from other uneducated ignoramuses.

      • But it is certainly pejorative to call someone ignorant and uneducated. Which is what Dr E.E. is doing with this blog titled “Anti-vaxers tend to be uneducated and ignorant”

    • @Roger

      That Statistics Austria study is a hit piece on anti-vaxxers like us and you broke it down with your razor-sharp acumen and logical thinking of highest degree. It is amazing how you made up conspiracies to thoroughly discredit the study findings. Does that come to you naturally? Or did you learn that at anti-vaxxer university? It is an art form that you have mastered like a ninja. Will you please teach me how? I am an aspiring anti-vaxxer, Sensi Roger!

  • In these stats, are those with a valid reason not to be vaccinated excluded?

    Amazing that 8% of medical students are hesitant – and 20% of health workers.

  • Labeling people as uneducated and ignorant (school smarts vs life smarts) is no way to improve vaccination rates. Doing such only reflects on the rightous indignation of the author.

    Perhaps another reason for vaccine hesitancy is the loss of confidence in our health institutions as they seem to rather play politics then provide factual information. When children are mandated to wear non n95 masks, some events closed while others embraced, and our politicians keep changing the rules of the game, mistrust is certainly going to be sown.

    Only the future knows what is going to happen to the psycho-social development of school children , believe it or not , parents worry about this.

    • Edzard and others, do you think the CDC reducing quarantine from 10 to 5 days is a reflection of appealing to science or the economy?

      https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/28/flight-attendants-cdc-airline-quarantine-change-526213

    • one could also argue that it is a sign of lack of education to misunderstand changing rules; they are prompted by advances in science and should therefore generate trust.

      • ” misunderstand changing rules; they are prompted by advances in science and should therefore generate trust.”

        It seems naive to think politicians are going to be guided by science.

        “As towns around Somerville began going back to in-person school in the fall, Mayor Joseph Curtatone and other Somerville leaders delayed a return to in-person learning. A group of moms—including scientists, pediatricians, and doctors treating COVID-19 patients—began to feel frustrated that Somerville schools weren’t welcoming back students. They considered themselves progressive and believed that they understood teachers’ worries about getting sick. But they saw the city’s proposed safety measures as nonsensical and unscientific—a sort of hygiene theater that prioritized the appearance of protection over getting kids back to their classrooms.”

        from: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/05/liberals-covid-19-science-denial-lockdown/618780/

        • it seems daft to think that politicians are not guided by science!
          of course, they must consider other factors as well, but they do consider science where I live.

          • “it seems daft to think that politicians are not guided by science!”

            “Politicians and governments are suppressing science, and when good science is suppressed, people die, argues a senior editor at The BMJ today.

            Executive editor, Dr Kamran Abbasi, argues that covid-19 “has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health.”

            “Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement, he writes. So too are scientists and health experts. “The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.”

            He points to examples of suppression of science or scientists during the UK’s pandemic response, including inappropriate involvement of government advisers in the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), attempts to withhold information on covid-19 and inequalities, block publication of a study on point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19, and instruct scientists not to talk to the media.”

            from:https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/politicians-and-governments-are-suppressing-science-argues-the-bmj/

            and

            “The high level of political misinformation would never be tolerated in science. If Mars scientists launched Perseverance based on false theories or fake information, it would not have landed safely on Mars. Scientific principles would have laid bare the falsehoods for all to see. Yet there is no parallel corrective mechanism for truth or facts in the political world as leaders can spout lies without being held accountable for their inaccuracies. What’s more, political scientists have shown that correcting misinformation often sparks a “backfire effect” in which misperceptions become even more tightly held.”

            from: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2021/03/09/why-america-has-great-science-but-terrible-politics/

          • oh dear, I certainly do NOT want to defend UK politicians.
            yet, I do insist that they consider the science [plus other things]

        • How about all the deaths, blood clots, heart issues, etc.? Not good enough of a reason to avoid them? How about seeing all the ingredients in the shots. Could that hinder people taking it? Why, yes, it could. Could it be that some people actually work with Pfizer and moderna and receive a paycheck when they push their drugs? Yes, it could. Could it be that many of us are actually EDUCATED because we Worked in the industry that created them?? Why, yes, it could be that too.

          Educate yourselves :

          https://t.co/YlsVIEYBuL

          • Yes, what about the blood clots, heart issues, etc.?
            Nobody denies that they exist. The point, however, is that COVID vaccinations do miles more good than harm.
            And the insinuation that anyone here gets money for pushing anything is badly placed – in my case anyway.

    • I have just added a ‘PS’ to my post

  • If one cannot effectively use testing in lieu of vaccination, why make testing part of a government mandate unless it is to make a political statement.

    What if 100% of employees chose testing rather than vaccination what would be the result.

    So a question is do mandates help or would vaccine education be a better option?

  • Totally different view so please don’t shoot me down just the majority of people who have not had the vaccine I’ve known in the past to do shit loads of drugs … i don’t get how you can trust that in your veins body blood stream whatever but you don’t want a vaccine to stop you getting sick !! just saying

    • @Joanna

      Absolutely. I also always find it amusing when you see the likes of Jenny McCarthy trumpeting about not wanting to inject toxins whislt having a faceful of Botox. Botulinum toxin. The most toxic substance known to man.

  • Must have a lot of uneducated nurses (non vaxer’s) that they allow to graduate their their medical/ nursing schools then.

  • Edzard,
    In the USA, it is not hidden at all the money in covid.
    https://www.cms.gov/medicare/covid-19/new-covid-19-treatments-add-payment-nctap
    Of course, you are another part of the world
    Additionally, the vaccines here would not be EUA if there were other available treatments.
    And although you might not agree with Ivermectin, other countries have had great success with it.
    It is not good enough for us here supposedly, but the doctors here that prescribe it along with other vitamins have had great success unless they are lying. So…who do you trust?
    Look what happened in China in 2002?
    People should be given information from both sides so they can make an educated decision and that is not happening in the USA
    Why not have a debate on national TV for all to see. No censorship. Let both sides show the “science”

    • Why not have a debate on national TV for all to see. No censorship. Let both sides show the “science”

      Because only one side has the science. What we would get from the antivaxxers would be a Gish-gallop of unsupported assertions and false statements (stuff like claims that some countries have had “great success” with ivermectin, or that it is a vitamin), which would be impossible to debunk in the format of a live debate.

      Here, we can ask you for sources for your claims, and have time to research them and produce the good-quality evidence that contradicts them. You are seeking a venue that actually favours the side that lacks evidence but is nevertheless willing to make claims.

    • @Jeffrey Bloom

      although you might not agree with Ivermectin, other countries have had great success with it.

      This is the problem with people like you: you keep spreading misinformation and lies as a matter of routine – simply because other equally misinformed people spread them, and just for one reason: those lies support your personal beliefs. In support of your tunnel vision, you only keep recycling ‘evidence’ coming from other liars and believers, only a few of whom actually hold a degree of some kind – and almost all of whom are in fact unqualified or even completely incompetent in the actual field. And most important of all, you never even think of checking if the things you spread are true, or why 99% of scientists and doctors don’t agree with the aforementioned misinformation. Instead, you immediately dismiss any information from that overwhelming majority.

      No, there were no countries that had ‘great success’ with ivermectin. There were several mostly poor countries without a functional healthcare system or scientific resources that tried or promoted it, but any reports of success are simply not based on the truth, and were probably wishful thinking. As soon as real scientists and experts looked at the situation, any effects of this medicine completely disappeared: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8050401/
      ” In June 2020, right in the middle of the first COVID-19 wave, the sales of IVM skyrocketed as 12 million packages were sold in Brazil alone (www.iqvia.com). The record sales were also related to the decision of mayors of three cities totaling 300,000 people, who have organized a voluntary mass treatment recommending three tablets of 6 mg of IVM on three occasions 15 days apart.

      Unfortunately, and after all these investments, the shape of COVID-19 curves did not exhibit any modification when comparing groups of treated and untreated people from the same area.

      overcrowding in 100% of the hospitals in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, North of Brazil. Most hospitals throughout the entire region were overwhelmed by the surge of the new P1 variant of the COVID-19, with a 200-people daily death rate, confirming the devastating situation. IVM may have contributed to this terrible situation since a team of infectologists described that more than 90% of the patients in the ICU admitted to having taken IVM as a preventive treatment for COVID-19 in the state of Rio Grande do Norte

      So ivermectin was not only completely useless in preventing or treating Covid-19, it may have even contributed to the huge surge in hospitalizations and deaths, because it gave people a false sense of security. After all, lots of people said it worked, now didn’t they?

      And this includes people like you …

    • This is hilarious. You cannot decide about science and facts with a national debate. Or would you also like to start a debate whether earth is a flate disk or approximated sphere? Or whether living beings were created due to divine intervention (creationism) or developed due to evolution?

  • Take a look at Kazimierz Dabrowski’s theory of positive disintegration and his mention of Tier-1 Zombies. It explains the psychology of the masses during the voluntary medical trials.

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