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How can we better understanding common vaccine perceptions? Here, we explore the idea of 'distrust' as a root.
View of desk with two people sitting opposite each other.
People’s general mistrust of authorities and those whom they perceive to be working for authorities is a common underlying feeling in vaccine hesitancy.

This can include a general perception that vaccination is used as a tool for powerful people to oppress disadvantaged groups. When people have felt mistreated by authorities, for example in prisons, it is important to understand why people don’t trust authorities.


Speech bubble with the following text: ‘Vaccination is used by powerful people to oppress marginalised groups in society’’

It is important to listen to concerns amongst marginalised populations such as people living in prison, and acknowledge historical events when this population has been marginalised and has suffered as a consequence.

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘Infectious diseases often affect marginalised groups in society, such as people living in prisons, people experiencing homelessness, or asylum seekers, more than the general community. Declining vaccination can worsen health inequalities and increases the levels of infectious disease experienced by these groups. Getting vaccinated is an empowering step towards breaking down barriers between these groups and the rest of society.’’

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘I understand why you might feel this way, as often in the past, people living in prison have not been treated in the same way as the general community. However, by refusing vaccination, you are denying yourself your right to health. Not being vaccinated will make you more likely to get ill and be unwell, and pass illnesses onto other people in your community, making them ill too.’’

This article is from the free online

Prison Health: Vaccinations for People Working and Living in Prisons (Non-Vaccine Trained Staff)

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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