Virtual WiP: “Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Insights from Georgia”

Cynthia Buckley, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
The emergence of new vaccines to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic is welcomed news, particularly in those countries suffering relatively higher rates of infection and mortality. Issues of vaccine acquisition, accessibility, and delivery are central concerns in many countries, including Georgia. This presentation explores the importance of a less examined element, vaccine hesitancy, and its relationship to COVID-19 vaccination programs. Employing three survey measures of vaccine attitudes in Georgia between 2018 and late 2020 (Wellcome Trust, CRRC, and PACE2), Prof. Buckley will examine trends and correlates of vaccine hesitancy in Georgia, exploring three questions. First, to what extent are attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines reflective of pre-pandemic vaccine hesitancy? Secondly, to what extent are attitudes towards a “possible” vaccine mid-pandemic related to attitudes towards vaccines (some of which have been approved for use) after pandemic? Lastly, she will address how patterns of continuity and change in vaccine hesitancy in Georgia, particularly in terms of COVID-19, add to socio-epidemiological approaches to vaccine hesitancy globally while also generating insights concerning COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in Georgia.
Dr. Cynthia Buckley is Visiting Scholar in 2020/2021 at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and Population Research Center at the University of Michigan, and is Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate of the European Union Center at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
Although this presentation will take place in virtual format, in observation of the spirit of the Chatham House Rule to which the series generally adheres, the talk will not be recorded and we courteously request that the other participants refrain from recording and/or distributing it as well. The opinions expressed in WiP talks are those of the speakers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CRRC, ARISC or of American Councils.
WiP is an ongoing academic discussion series based in Tbilisi, Georgia, that normally takes place at the new office of CRRC at Liziko Kavtaradze St. 1. It is co-organized by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC), the American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS, and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC). All of the talks are free and open to the public.