Vaccines are a first defense against highly communicable diseases such as measles. For vaccines to protect the population, a vast majority must be vaccinated to maintain herd immunity. Vaccine hesitancy is delaying vaccination from the suggested schedule or refusing vaccination outright. The hesitance is commonly portrayed as a lack of knowledge or scientific literacy. But highly educated people are still just as likely to be hesitant. The basis of hesitance is likely ethically similar to that of vaccination. Understanding the methods of the vaccine hesitant will better inform attempts to persuade them. Individuals have an obligation to the community to aid herd immunity. The government has an obligation to its citizens to aid herd immunity. Mandatory vaccination is unlikely in the near future so other coercive methods must be used to convince the populace to comply with vaccination recommendations. Education is a just form of coercion that is already implemented by the medical establishment but must consider ways to improve positive interaction with hesitance.
Semester/Year of Award
Michael W. Austin
Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Open Access Thesis
Philosophy and Religion
Marcum, Zachary M., "Vaccinate her? I hardly know her!: Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy" (2020). Honors Theses. 717.