• Social Bonding and Public Trust/Distrust in COVID-19 Vaccines

      Ramkissoon, Haywantee; University of Derby, College of Business, Law, & Social Sciences, Derby Business School; UiT, The Arctic University of Norway; University of Johanneshburg, Johannesburg Business School, South Africa (MDPI AG, 2021-09-14)
      COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has been a growing concern. The pandemic has proved to be very complicated with the mutated virus. The Delta variant is contributing to a surge of cases across the globe. Vaccine hesitancy can be socially contagious, requiring more stringent efforts from policy makers and health professionals in promoting vaccine uptake. Some evidence shows that vaccine acceptance appears to have played an integral role in successfully controlling the pandemic. Vaccination acceptance, however, demands that the public has a good understanding of the vaccine’s benefits in promoting healthier societies and people’s quality of life. Unclear COVID-19 vaccine information can lead to distrust in vaccines and vaccine hesitancy. It is of paramount importance to communicate clear and unbiased vaccine information to the public to encourage vaccine uptake. Word of mouth communication remains important to further promote COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the community. This short paper discusses the role of social bonds and public trust/distrust and word of mouth communication in vaccine decision making.