The psychology explained behind those who are for or against the COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Even with experts sharing why people should get the covid vaccine, there’s still a line drawn between those who are for it and those against it.

“I think it is completely driven by fear,” psychologist, Brenda Hinkle said.

She said fear plays the largest role in deciding whether to get or not to get the covid vaccine.

“It’s your overriding response because it is connected to your survival instinct in the brain, so fear keeps us alive and that is where we’re going to act from.”

That fear, Hinkle said, can work in two ways: the fear of the unknown of the vaccine or the fear of contracting the virus, and elements of that fear can come from the fear of death, getting sick, or now even losing a job as many mandates have been put in place by private businesses. 

“It’s basic survival,” she said. “We can have reasoning that comes from the fear response.”

Right now, as West Virginia has just a little over 60 percent of residents fully vaccinated and hospitalizations continue to increase, health experts continue to push for more vaccinations, but Hinkle says regardless of your decision, make sure it is well informed.

“Look at reasons to get the vaccine, look at reasons not to get the vaccine and know the pros and cons for both (decisions), and then you make the choice, your personal choice,” she said.

The CDC also recommends how to help others through making that choice when it comes to talking with friends and family about the vaccine, like listening with empathy or asking permission to share information.

Regardless of the decision people make, Hinkle says taking the necessary steps with proper information and setting your fear aside is always helpful.

“You can then say, I’ve based it on science, research and accurate information.”

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