MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. People's mistrust of coronavirus vaccines is mostly caused by the lack of consensus among experts, conspiracy theories and a low level of confidence in the government and the media, according to a poll conducted by the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Psychology.
"Researchers point to three main reasons why people are unwilling to get vaccinated. First, it is contradictory statements by state officials and the lack of consensus among experts, which is what 72% of those surveyed mentioned. As for those who have no plans to get vaccinated in the coming months, 62% noted that the doctors they knew discouraged them from getting a jab," experts said.
The second reason is that people have little confidence in social institutions. According to researchers, a decline in people's trust in the government and the media amid the pandemic is a global trend. Third, when people face a threat that can hardly be controlled, they show defensive physiological responses, underestimating risks and seeking comfort in conspiracy theories.
In addition, more than half of the poll's participants (54%) view vaccination as a way for pharmaceutical companies and medical workers to earn money, and 46% believe that its goal is to distract Russian society from more pressing problems.
Head of the institute's Laboratory of Social and Economic Psychology Professor Timofei Nestik pointed out that on the one hand, people expected the government to protect them from the consequences of the pandemic but on the other, large-scale restrictions made them want to defend their individuality and the right to make choices. "However, the sense of losing control over the situation, which is offset by a search for conspiracy explanations, is a more important factor," Nestic noted.