Playing with Fire -- Perceptions against COVID 19 Vaccination
Mary Anne Lauri, Maria Cordina, Maria Grech
Mary Anne Lauri (email@example.com)
Pandemic, Vaccination, Thematic analysis, Fears of vaccination, Hesitancy, Mixed methods research
Living during a pandemic has a great impact on a person’s health and psychological functioning. While many took the vaccine, others were very skeptical about the intentions and motivations of political and health authorities and the safety of the vaccine. Vaccines may play a role in prevention of disease, however some are against vaccination. This paper will explore the reasons and arguments that people put forward to support their stance against vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccination. This will help in providing a deeper understanding of these participants’ points of view, along with their experiences during this challenging period in time. A mixed methods approach was used. Study one was a quantitative study using online survey methodology to determine the degree of vaccine hesitancy and associated reasons. The most frequently cited reason given for not taking the vaccine were about safety issues. Study two was qualitative and involved interviewing six participants recruited through purposive sampling. The transcripts were analysed by using Thematic Analysis. The three main emerging themes were reasons related to health, others to the socio-political context and the third was the perceived lack of scientific information on COVID-19 vaccine. The results concluded that the participants’ objections to take the COVID-19 vaccine emerged from personal health factors, and was manifested as a form of protest against authorities.