Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Ivanova A.E., Vangorodskaya S.A., Semyonova V.G. Anti-vaccination sentiments among the Russian youth: major causes and ways to overcome. Social'nye aspekty zdorov'a naselenia ...

Ivanova A.E., Vangorodskaya S.A., Semyonova V.G. Anti-vaccination sentiments among the Russian youth: major causes and ways to overcome. Social`nye aspekty zdorov`a naselenia / Social aspects of population health [serial online] 2022; 68(2):8. Availablefrom:,ru/ DOI: 10.21045/2071-5021-2022-68-2-8. (In Rus).
ISSN 2071-5021
DOI 10.21045/2071-5021-2022-68-2-8

Posted on site: 22.09.22

Текст статьи на сайте журнала URL:,ru/ (дата обращения 22.09.2022)


With vaccination becoming a large-scale campaign initiated by the state aimed at reducing spread of various diseases through the formation of collective immunity [14,17,18], activity of the anti-vaccination movement supporters has been either fading, or showing a tendency towards increasing. Representatives of the Russian youth demonstrate high activity in expressing anti-vaccination sentiments. The purpose of the study: to assess, in a comparative context with other countries, development of the coronavirus pandemic in Russia and to identify specific causes of anti-vaccination sentiments among the least involved group in vaccination - young people. Material and methods. 10 countries with high and low rates of vaccination have been selected. The main criterion for including countries in this list was reliability of mortality registration in each particular country. To identify specific causes of anti-vaccination sentiments among young people, the authors used data from the authors’ sociological survey conducted in September-October 2021 in the Belgorod region as part of the study of the socio–demographic consequences of the pandemic (n=1000, including 154 people - young people aged 18-29). Results. Russia is included in the group of countries with a low rate of vaccination (among countries with reliable statistics), characterized by both average levels of incidence of the coronavirus infection, high COVID-19-related mortality and the highest relevant lethality among countries with a low share of the vaccinated. The analysis shows that at the population level, vaccination, while not being a panacea for Covid-19 infection, significantly reduces severe, including fatal, consequences of the coronavirus infection. Among the youth, anti-vaccination sentiments are wider spread compared to other groups. In addition to general causes that are also characteristic of other population groups, primarily related to the lack of scientific data on the infection in public domain and effective ways to combat it, as well as distrust in information from official institutions, there are also specific “youth” factors. These include: illusive control over the situation (relying on one’s own immunity, experience of parents refusing to have their kids vaccinated in accordance with the vaccination schedule), overestimation of one’s own competence (using information from social networks without its critical evaluation; ignoring scientific data, preferring information from “public opinion leaders”), and a low level of fear due to a milder, on average, course of the disease in young people due to the absence of comorbidities. The prospects of the study lie in the analysis of intergenerational differences in adherence to vaccination at the family level.