Vaccine refuser data thread

Shots fired at the Dutch Reformed Congregations. Hey Dutchy, that religion you got there: it’s minor.

In December I sat in a meeting of 10 people, where 8 said they woudn’t get the vaccine. 80%!!! By end of Jan, all 10 had the vaccine.

Now, I believe this is to do with how survey questions are asked.

The debate is ‘are vaccines dangerous’
The question is would you take the vaccine (which already reminds people of the debate).
People’s minds are primed to think about the possible dangers.
result: they react to the danger aspect and say ‘no’.

When offered the vaccine, their reactions are different.

Another factor is tht their friends and collegues are getting the vaccine - a personal stories are better than statistics is persuading people. So, for my friend Jane, stories about a nurse called Doris dying in Canada trumps my stats, BUT, stories about her friends getting the vaccine trumps Doris.

I know about 40 people at work who have had the vaccination over a period of 14 days.

Some originally said they would never have it, but they have now.

But here’s something interesting, several people had reactions like flu symptoms, tiredness, headaches and time off work. Yet the people who feared the vaccine STILL had the vaccine.

Its like their through process was: "the vaccine might kills me. Oh look, it just gives me flu, so I don’t mind!’

First, thanks for your personal experience. It’s interesting and it adds to the emerging picture. Can I ask - was this in the US?

The surveys that I kicked this thread off with (post #1, natch) include some pretty solid publications - BMJ, for example - but you’re right, they’re surveys and as such will always have their limitations. Further surveys show similar results, but I also was somewhat skeptical of their accuracy in predicting what happens in real life.

However, now that vaccine rollout is under way - approaching a quarter of the population here in the UK (cite) - we’re starting to see real data on refusal rates - see posts #124,127. BTW note that I started #124 thus:

As the real data becomes available, we are seeing rather high levels of refusal, very high in some communities - and this is in the UK, which was expected to be one of the more compliant countries.

You said:

When offered the vaccine, their reactions are different.

-and there may be some truth to that, but the data in posts #124 and 127 are for people who have been offered vaccination.

I think one of the interesting stories that may be told in this thread is how attitudes to vaccination and refusal rates change as rollout progresses. I agree that many current refusers will likely changes their minds, but I suspect there will also be more coercive factors in play (“No vaccine passport? No pub or restaurant for you!”) But I didn’t plan this to be a thread for debating personal views, so I’ll stop right there.


I happened across OpenSAFELY today. This is a UK research group and they describe themselves thus:

OpenSAFELY is a new secure analytics platform for electronic health records in the NHS, created to deliver urgent results during the global COVID-19 emergency. It is now successfully delivering analyses across more than 24 million patients’ full pseudonymised primary care NHS records, with more to follow shortly. All our analytic software is open for security review, scientific review, and re-use. OpenSAFELY uses a new model for enhanced security and timely access to data: we don’t transport large volumes of potentially disclosive pseudonymised patient data outside of the secure environments managed by the electronic health record software company; instead, trusted analysts can run large scale computation across near real-time pseudonymised patient records inside the data centre of the electronic health records software company. This pragmatic and secure approach has allowed us to deliver our first analyses in just five weeks from project start.

My bold. In brief, the group can rapidly publish stats on many aspects of the UK COVID response based on a huge sample of patients. This is a preprint analysing vaccine uptake.

The meat of this is in the weekly report, a couple of screens down, which you can scroll through. As rollout progresses, information on the different priority groups becomes available, so the report at this stage concentrates on age 80+ and 70-79. Other populations, where vaccination is less complete are also included.

In those two high priority groups, a disturbingly familiar pattern is presented. Here, for example, is the cumulative percentage vaccinated, by ethnic group, up to 11 Feb

Black 55
Mixed 67.5
Other 65.9
South Asian 73.1
Unknown 83.4
White 86.3

(Not my intentional bold - some weird artifact of cut and paste)

Elsewhere (and where I learned of this group’s existence), this related story:

"As Dr Nikki Kanani - our GP leader - has said: we are fighting two pandemics here.

“We’re fighting the Covid virus, but we’re also fighting this huge tsunami of misinformation that’s coming out.”

The plan is to broadcast simultaneously across major commercial channels to make the message difficult to avoid.

Sky’s Stephen van Rooyen, meanwhile, said the network was “proud to be part of the biggest roadblock in television history”.


On a subject intimately related to vaccine refusal:

The UK government has been saying from the get-go that they would not introduce “vaccine passports” (“No vaccine passport? No pub or restaurant for you!”, as I put it in post #133).

Now, not so much.

There are “deep and complex issues” with using vaccine passports or certificates to prove someone’s Covid “status”, Boris Johnson has said.

Announcing a review of the proposal, he said using certificates to allow visits to venues such as pubs and theatres was a “novelty for our country”…

…Vaccine passports have been discussed by countries, including Greece, and operators such as Saga Cruises, as a way to safely reopen international leisure travel.

The issue ties into this thread because vaccine passports are an obvious way to persuade people to vaccinate - if you are not willing to contribute to a return to normal life, why should you be allowed to partake in that return to normal life, and by doing so increase risk of harm for others?

Yeah, I know it’s complicated - but the ethical arguments are for another thread, if someone cares to start one.


So, what I’m getting is that vaccine passports are going to be the new “service” animal. There will be so many fake ones out there that folks won’t be able to recognize the legit ones.

The one I get seems pretty easy to fake.

Current thinking is that, so far as the UK goes, it will be digital and carried on your smart phone; so I guess that has the potential to be pretty secure (if you have a smart phone, of course.)

Early days, eh?


And if someone is so poor they can’t afford a smart phone, they can’t afford to go out to eat anyhow so no worries.

Just for the record, my MMJ card is electronic and ideally all I need to do is pull it up and show it when needed. In reality, the folks who need to see it don’t want to touch my phone any more than I want to hand it over and their scanners often don’t work well with smartphone screens. I have a printed copy that I show now and everyone is happier.

I’m afraid employers are going to start demanding proof of of vaccination or they’ll fire you.

I certainly hope that starts happening. The alternative is COVID 10 years from now will be just as bad and widespread as it is today. We cannot kill this thing with less than damn near everyone cooperating by being vaccinated. “Conscientious objectors” need to be shot. With vaccine or with bullets; they get to choose.

I’ll go out on a limb and agree. A few, very few people may deserve a medical exemption, but truly independent physicians need to identify and confirm that exemption, unlike the ‘cuz I’m the parent and I say so’ school vax exemptions have worked out. One or two people in a hundred with genuine inability to be vaccinated is doable for our population. They then need to be educated and supported in rigorously using other mitigation systems to protect themselves and the rest of us.

Some already have. It’s great. Anti-vaxers should have lives destroyed.

This is getting debate-y. Don’t want to be guilty of junior modding here, but see post #119 for the intent of this thread.

I do think the issues surrounding the implementation of vaccine passports are well worth debating. If someone wants to start a thread that, it I’ll be only to happy to join in.


I will join in too. It is very tricky to stay on the factual straight and narrow at this pace.

And I am happy to be gently reminded by others or mods if I stray, so call me up short if I get carried away.

Should I start it?


Yep, please do.

I certainly wouldn’t do that.

Not until it is available to everyone, anyway. Or if they have a legitimate medical exemption.

But, I’ve been spending tons of money on labor and resources this last year to keep things open while doing my best to prevent spread within my workplace. Once there is an alternative, then I’m not going to keep any employees that insist on continuing to be a risk to other employees, clients, or to myself.

To prevent this thread from being turning into a vaccine passport debate, I just created a separate thread:

The Vaccine Passport - news and views

The Quarantine Zone

See you there.