Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Scharmann, L.C. (2021). Vaccine hesitancy – when emotions trump reason. The Innovation Platform, 8, 278-279.


Isn’t getting a vaccine a decision of choice or personal liberty? Yes, but only if personal choices don’t create health risks for other citizens. We no longer permit individuals to smoke in public spaces in which second-hand smoke can harm the health of others. In the case of COVID-19, at best, individuals whose choice it is not to be vaccinated slow progress toward herd immunity. At worst, if enough individuals choose not to vaccinate, this pandemic continues unabated, enabling variants of the original virus to emerge – variants that are often of increasing virulence. Fear of ingredients, however, is but one reason cited for vaccine hesitancy.