A general mistrust in various communicators about vaccines, including (but not limited to) pharmaceutical companies, scientists, medical protocols (e.g., immunization schedules), scientific research (e.g., efficacy of vaccines, longitudinal analyses, and data gathering), as well as a perception that politicians and healthcare professionals have vested interests and a lack of knowledge.
An individual’s particular view on how society should be organised, including well-documented predictors of vaccine rejection such as populism, nationalism, conservatism, and individualistic/hierarchical worldviews, as well as views on issues related to the specific political context of each country, such as animosity toward a particular government, political party or politician.
A variety of beliefs that are not backed up by science, misrepresent scientific facts, or are based on pseudoscientific conceptions. Pseudoscientific conceptions can take on a range of beliefs, such as endorsement of alternative medicine, that “natural” is always better, or that vaccines overwhelm infants’ immune system.
Accordingly, 'Reactance' includes a defense of civil liberties, in which the individual is motivated by claiming their right to act contrary to social norms and politics. This is related to a high sense of personal autonomy and empowerment, where patients react to health advice as an infringement on their ability to choose an action for themselves.
Distorted risk perception stems from a lack of fear and/or awareness of the threat posed by the disease, either to oneself or to others. Individuals perceive that the disease is of low or inconsequential risk, and this motivates their belief that vaccination is unnecessary or that the drawbacks outweigh the benefits.
A prioritisation of one’s own needs relative to that of others. It can be understood as the opposite of collective concern or prosociality, in that the motivation is for others to contribute to herd immunity in order to protect the selfish individual, in effect wishing to free-ride on herd immunity. Sometimes, this manifests in the defense of alternatives to vaccination that are only available to people with a high socioeconomic status, such as lockdowns or jobs in low-risk sectors.
Epistemic relativism encompasses a broad spectrum of forms of relativism, including postmodern understanding of scientific truth and expertise, prioritization of subjective experiences over the nomological forms of reasoning typical of scientific studies, appeals to “maternal intuition”, and invitations to “do your own research” to outweigh scientific evidence.