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Considerations about COVID-19 impact on the individual-society relationship

from vaccine hesitancy to the clamor for a vaccine


  • Marcia Thereza Couto Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina, Departamento de Medicina Preventiva e Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva
  • Carolina Luísa Alves Barbieri Universidade Católica de Santos – UNISANTOS, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva
  • Camila Carvalho de Souza Amorim Matos Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva / Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Departamento de Ciências da Saúde



Coronavirus infections, vaccines, social behavior, prevention, mitigation


In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the world was experiencing a pandemic, caused by the new coronavirus. Since then, the world has watched an unprecedented health crisis in the last 100 years. The best measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 require individual and social actions, as social distancing, which affect the way people relate, work and entertain. At the same time, the search for a vaccine shows itself as the hope to overcome the pandemic. Considering the clamour for a new vaccine, this critical essay discusses some paradoxes and contradictions of the individual-society relationship in the context of COVID-19, in the light of vaccine hesitancy as a historical and present-day reality.
Based on the questions and discussions undertaken, it appears that decision making about (not) vaccinating or about (not) following preventive measures to controlling the spread of COVID19 is shaped by social belongings, crossed by inequalities that tend to exacerbate now and in the future. Misinformation in both, current pandemic context and vaccine hesitancy phenomenon, reflects the tension between the scientifically validated risk and the risk perceived subjectively by individuals, as a result of the crisis of confidence in science. Perceptions of risk and adherence to health measures go beyond subjective and rational aspects and reflect values and beliefs conformed by the political, economic and socio-cultural dimensions.

Keywords: Coronavirus infections; vaccines; social behavior; prevention and mitigation.




Health Sciences