The Historical Precedent of Vaccine Hesitancy and its Manifestations in Covid-19
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In an “unprecedented” world, vaccine hesitancy is a supremely precedented phenomenon. For this thesis, Baylor University students were surveyed regarding their opinions and behaviors with respect to Covid-19 vaccination. While in a modern, contextually-anchored package, responses revealed themes common not only among each other, but common since the early nineteenth century when the first vaccine was invented. In this study of historical vaccines and their echoes in modernity, it is apparent that many of the objections cited against vaccination today are indicative of a repetitive history. As it stands, vaccination is one of the most, if not the most important preventive measure against endemic and epidemic communicable disease, but an intensely diverse group of people decline to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Baylor students’ opinions have proven both insightful and illuminating with regard to why exactly people decline Covid-19 vaccines, providing a launchpad for future research tailored to the specific concerns of a young-adult population well on their way to becoming the policymakers of the future.