Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and Russian public support for anti-pandemic measures

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Title: Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and Russian public support for anti-pandemic measures
Author: Borisova, Ekaterina ; Ivanov, Denis
Organization: Bank of Finland
Department / Unit: Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT)
Series: BOFIT Discussion Papers
Series number: 09/2021
Year of publication: 2021
Publication date: 5.7.2021
Pages: 27
Subject (yso): rokotus; vaikuttavuus; pandemiat; rajoitukset; toimenpiteet
Keywords: Bofit-kokoelma; Venäjä
JEL: I12; I18; C93
Other keywords: COVID-19; vaccine; non-pharmaceutical measures; anti-pandemic restrictions; lock-down; anxiety; Russia
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.
Table of contents: Abstract ..... 4 1 Introduction ..... 5 2 Data and methodology ..... 7 2.1 Survey design ..... 7 2.2 Empirical strategy ..... 9 3 Results ..... 9 3.1 Subsample assessments ..... 9 3.2. Magnitude of the effects ..... 13 4 Discussion ..... 15 References ..... 18 Appendix ..... 20

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