Vaccine hesitancy and Confirmation bias
Vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon. . The 19th century vaccine hesitancy is understandable because of poor access to information and most importantly, people were to yet to witness the extraordinary global success of vaccination.. The paradoxical rise of 21st century vaccine hesitancy, in the face of easy access to high-quality information, could be explained by confirmation bias. .
Confirmation bias makes human beings seek information that confirms or strengthens their self-beliefs or values.. Overcoming this bias requires open-minded rational analysis of all viewpoints but personalised internet search-engine results, influenced by users’ browsing history, curtail exposure to diversity of views.
Many people, who have a natural worry about long-term vaccine side effects, may be reassured by healthcare workers. But sceptics, whose vaccine hesitancy has been sculpted by endless loops of affirmation on social-media, are unlikely to be reassured by healthcare workers..
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Competing interests: Unvaccinated distant family members have died of COVID-19