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Covid vaccine snobbery revealed in huge global study    

A huge global study has revealed the emergence of Covid vaccine snobbery, with vaccinated people seeing the unvaccinated as ‘incompetent, untrustworthy’ and even poor marriage material.

The study of 15,233 people from 21 countries, including Australia, found vaccinated people were more discriminatory about the unvaccinated than they were towards ex-criminals and drug addicts.

The study, led by Denmark’s Aarhus University, also showed the vaccinated generally hold more strongly negative attitudes towards unvaccinated individuals than the other way around.

Its authors claim vaccinated people were ‘motivated to exclude the unvaccinated from family relationships and even protected political rights’.

They did however note the reaction was understandable because of the importance of widespread vaccination.

But they also advised governments to take urgent steps to heal the wounds caused by discrimination on the basis of vaccination status during the pandemic.

A huge global study has revealed the emergence of Covid vaccine snobbery in Australia and 20 other countries, with vaccinated people viewing the unvaccinated more negatively than ex-criminals. Pictured, police speak to a woman in Sydney in order to prevent a large protest

The survey of 15,233 people appears to at least partly support claims by fringe politicians and protest groups that discrimination against unvaccinated people was a real thing in Australia. Pictured is a protester in Sydney in November 2021

The survey of 15,233 people appears to at least partly support claims by fringe politicians and protest groups that discrimination against unvaccinated people was a real thing in Australia. Pictured is a protester in Sydney in November 2021

The study did not include any findings on attitudes about the effectiveness of vaccines, which were estimated to have saved millions of lives.

In June 2022, the highly respected Lancet medical journal estimated that vaccinations prevented up to 20 million deaths from Covid in 185 countries between December 2020 and December 2021.

But the new study’s results cast previously unpopular defences of the unvaccinated in a completely new light.

Those include Scott Morrison’s call in November 2021 that the unvaccinated should be allowed to order a cup of coffee if they want one – which was criticised by Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The survey also appears to at least partly support claims by fringe politicians and protest groups that discrimination against unvaccinated people was a real thing in Australia.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s efforts to introduce her controversial Covid-19 Vaccination Status (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill in November 2021 to federal parliament were defeated.

Covid vaccinations commenced in Australia in February 2021. 

As of December 7, 2022, more than 64 million doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in Australia, and 96 per cent of Australians have had at least two doses.

An estimated 500,000 Australians remain unvaccinated, with their reasons a mix of fears about potential health impacts and a personal stand against vaccine mandates.

The ‘discrimination’ against unvaccinated people worldwide is so serious that study’s authors ‘urge authorities across the world to heal the cleavages in society left by the Covid-19 pandemic’.

The new study's results cast previously unpopular defences of the unvaccinated - who were often targeted by police - in a completely new light. Pictured, a female protester is arrested at St Kilda during in September 2021

The new study’s results cast previously unpopular defences of the unvaccinated – who were often targeted by police – in a completely new light. Pictured, a female protester is arrested at St Kilda during in September 2021

Authorities in Australia clashed with increasingly defiant 'freedom of choice' and anti-vax protesters as the Covid pandemic went on. Pictured, police and protesters clash in Melbourne in September 2021

Authorities in Australia clashed with increasingly defiant ‘freedom of choice’ and anti-vax protesters as the Covid pandemic went on. Pictured, police and protesters clash in Melbourne in September 2021

‘The study shows that prejudice towards the unvaccinated is as high or higher than prejudice directed towards other common and diverse targets of prejudice, including immigrants, drug-addicts and ex-convicts,’ the authors wrote. 

‘In contrast, researchers find that the unvaccinated display almost no discriminatory attitudes towards the vaccinated.’

The findings directly contradict a public perception that ‘anti-vax’ and so-called ‘freedom’ protesters were antagonistic towards vaccinated people.

They also further strengthen the claims that Australian state governments overreached with tough Covid public health orders – such as thousands of fines, which were recently ruled invalid.

The study, titled Discriminatory Attitudes Against the Unvaccinated During a Global Pandemic, was authored by post-doctorate student Alexander Bor and Michael Bang Petersen, a professor of political science.

The data was collected from 21 countries – including Australia – between December 3, 2021 and January 28, 2022.

Researchers exposed snobbery towards unvaccinated people but did note the reaction was understandable because of the importance of widespread vaccination. Pictured, a nurse administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Melbourne in August 2021

Researchers exposed snobbery towards unvaccinated people but did note the reaction was understandable because of the importance of widespread vaccination. Pictured, a nurse administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Melbourne in August 2021

The global study involved picking 500 respondents each from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Britain, and the United States. Pictured, people queue for a vaccination in Sydney in June 2021

The global study involved picking 500 respondents each from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Britain, and the United States. Pictured, people queue for a vaccination in Sydney in June 2021

The global study involved picking 500 respondents each from Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Britain, and the United States. 

At the time, Sydney and Melbourne were in the grips of an Omicron outbreak, interrupting Christmas plans for millions of frustrated people who had taken up vaccinations.

Queensland’s case numbers were just beginning to take off.

The study revealed attitudes ‘in all inhabited continents’ towards the unvaccinated were so extreme that many vaccinated people ‘do not want close relatives to marry an unvaccinated person’.

They were also ‘more likely to think the unvaccinated are incompetent and untrustworthy’.

The researchers said these reactions comes from a perception that the unvaccinated were ‘free-riding’ on the responsible actions of others and the care of public health authorities.

‘The vaccinated react in quite a natural way against what they perceive as free-riding on a public good. This is a well-known psychological mechanism and thus a completely normal human reaction,’ Professor Petersen wrote. 

So-called freedom protesters complained they were being discriminated against during the pandemic. Pictured, a smattering of protesters against the Queensland Government's mandatory vaccination laws on the Gold Coast in November 2021

So-called freedom protesters complained they were being discriminated against during the pandemic. Pictured, a smattering of protesters against the Queensland Government’s mandatory vaccination laws on the Gold Coast in November 2021

The study did not record attitudes about the effectiveness of Covid vaccines, which are widely accepted to have saved millions of lives. Pictured, a woman receives the Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne in May 2021

The study did not record attitudes about the effectiveness of Covid vaccines, which are widely accepted to have saved millions of lives. Pictured, a woman receives the Pfizer vaccine in Melbourne in May 2021

The negativity towards the unvaccinated was so strong their basic rights could be under threat in some countries, the researchers found.

‘A survey fielded solely in the United States as part of the overall study shows that not only do vaccinated people harbour prejudice against the unvaccinated, they also think they should be denied fundamental rights,’ they wrote. 

‘For instance, the unvaccinated should not be allowed to move into the neighbourhood or express their political views on social media freely, without fear of censorship.’

The researchers strongly warned against ‘moral condemnation’ as a strategy to convince people to get vaccinated, as occurred under French president Emmanuel Macron and some Australian leaders.

‘Being held accountable for your own actions isn’t called discrimination – it is called being a bloody adult,’ Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie told the Australian parliament in arguing against Ms Hanson’s bill.

By December 2021, public opinion had turned against unvaccinated Australians, with some public figures outspoken on their choices.

Former NSW Premier Bob Carr lashed out at the ‘willful stupidity’ of people who didn’t get a jab, while the Health minister, Brad Hazzard castigated the unvaccinated, urging them to ‘wake up… and forget your silly messages’.

In January 2022, Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan warned unvaccinated people that under a range of restrictions in his state life would get ‘difficult’ for them.

The researchers argued that 'prejudice' against unvaccinated people 'complicates' management of a pandemic ' because it leads to mistrust, and we know that mistrust hinders vaccination uptake'

The researchers argued that ‘prejudice’ against unvaccinated people ‘complicates’ management of a pandemic ‘ because it leads to mistrust, and we know that mistrust hinders vaccination uptake’

The researchers argued that ‘prejudice’ against unvaccinated people ‘complicates’ management of a pandemic ‘because it leads to mistrust, and we know that mistrust hinders vaccination uptake’. 

‘In the long run, [prejudice against unvaccinated] may mean that societies leave the pandemic more divided and polarised than they entered it,’ Prof. Petersen said. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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