TRIADS Speaker Series with Caitlin McMurtry: Vaccine hesitancy and trust in government during public health emergencies.

Join Caitlin McMurtry, assistant professor, Brown School for a presentation on "Vaccine hesitancy and trust in government during public health emergencies."

Lunch will be served.

Abstract: Many studies separately examine political polarization, trust in government and public institutions, and vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few, however, place their findings in historical context or explore the relationship between these variables. Drawing upon nearly seven decades of archival polling data, we use meta-analysis and meta-regression techniques to examine political polarization as it pertains to vaccine hesitancy and trust. We evaluate how attitudes about vaccines, the federal government, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) among partisans changed during the coronavirus pandemic and how these attitudes compare to previous public health crises and disease outbreaks. Preliminary findings indicate that political polarization during COVID-19 is several times greater than any other public health emergency in modern American history. Fortunately, high levels of polarization do not appear endemic to disease outbreaks, meaning they may be preventable in the future. These findings inform ongoing efforts to improve vaccination rates across the nation, future pandemic readiness, and the importance of restoring confidence in public institutions.


This event is co-sponsored by The Center For Empirical Research in the Law and the Washington University Department of Sociology