Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance in Russia
Vaccination is the main tool available to handle the COVID-19 pandemic globally. Though no vaccine is proven to be 100% effective, vaccination secures against getting seriously ill and dying from the disease. Russia announced the development of its first domestic vaccine back in August 2020 and launched the nationwide immunization campaign at the beginning of 2021. Despite these achievements, as of mid-October 2021, only 36% of the population got at least one shot of the vaccine. Massive vaccination hesitancy and refusal pose a great threat to public health and postpone social and economic recovery. Using nationally representative data from the general adult population of Russia, this study explores the scope of vaccination hesitancy and refusal as well as the determinants of vaccination attitudes. The results suggest that only 45% of the Russian population demonstrated positive attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccination prior to the launch of a nationwide vaccination program. We analyze a wide array of demographic, socio-economic, and health-related factors in relation to vaccination intentions and explore the deep-rooted causes of vaccination reluctance by looking at personality traits, religiosity, and trust. The obtained results are vital for designing policy measures to promote vaccination.