A new study suggests vaccine hesitancy could be linked to childhood trauma
Researchers conducting a study in the United Kingdom found a correlation between vaccine hesitancy and childhood trauma such as neglect, domestic violence or substance abuse.
They found that the refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was three times higher among participants who had experienced childhood trauma than those who had not.
These results stemmed from a telephone survey conducted in Wales, UK, beginning in December 2020 and ending in March 2021.
The participants were about nine types of childhood trauma:
- Physical, verbal and sexual abuse
- Parental separation
- Exposure to domestic violence
- Living with a family member with a mental illness or a family member in prison
- Substance abuse/addiction
Additionally, they collected information about each participant’s long-term health conditions, levels of trust in COVID-19 information and beliefs regarding public health restrictions: lockdowns, wearing face-mask and vaccine mandates.
The study shows that 52 per cent of participants claimed to have not experienced trauma, leaving 1 in 5 to report that they had experienced one or more types, and vaccine hesitancy was higher among those who were exposed to four or more childhood trauma experiences.
The statistics also revealed that vaccine hesitancy was 3.5 per cent among participants aged 70 and older with no reported experience of childhood trauma, and 38 per cent among participants ages 18 to 29 who had experienced childhood trauma.
Although this was an observational study, it is proven that those who have trauma have greater health risk throughout their lives, and combining an increase of vaccine hesitancy within this group leaves them at higher risk of infection.