BOFIT Discussion Papers: Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and Russian public support for anti-pandemic measures

New BOFIT Discussion Paper 9/2021

Borisova, Ekaterina; Ivanov, Denis: Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and Russian public support for anti-pandemic measures

Abstract:
In this study, we use random assignment of vignettes that feature optimistic and pessimistic scenarios with respect to vaccine safety and efficacy on a sample of roughly 1,600 Russians in order to gauge public support for anti-pandemic measures under various scenarios. Negative information on vaccine safety and efficacy reduces support for the anti-pandemic measures among individuals who fear Covid-19 and were initially supportive of government restrictions. These individuals tend to be old, and therefore vulnerable to Covid-19, and politically active. This loss of support is strongest for economically costly measures such as banning of large gatherings and the shuttering of non-essential businesses. Mask-wearing, which involves only minor costs, finds broad acceptance. We interpret the reactions in light of adaptation, fatigue over Covid-19 restrictions, and fatalism. The political consequences of non-pharmaceutical measures to deal with a pandemic include loss of public support over time, erosion of trust in government, and political backlash.

Read the Discussion paper:

BOFIT Discussion Papers are available online in the Bank of Finland's institutional repository: BOFIT Discussion Papers (bofit.fi)

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