Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies could have a significant negative impact on voluntary compliance, according to a study released on Monday.
Researchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany and the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico tried to study citizens' opposition to COVID-19 vaccination in response to some of the mandatory vaccination policies that have taken hold around the world. The study revealed that forced vaccinations reduce people's desire to be vaccinated, especially among those with low confidence in public institutions.
The researchers examined German citizens on how they would respond if they were required by law to be vaccinated. While those who stated that they had high support for voluntary vaccinations, they found increased resistance to vaccinations if they were given a mandate. The researchers also found that policies aimed at stimulating vaccination could also "underestimate individuals' sense of a moral or ethical obligation to do the right thing."
The researchers said the results should be considered by governments considering prescribing vaccinations and considering the possibility of increasing "social conflict by further promoting government citizens or scientific and medical elites."
The complete study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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