Partisanship Predicts COVID-19 Vaccine Brand Preference: The Insightful Case of Argentina
Krick, Candelaria B.
Dolmatzian, Marina B.
Del Negro, Julieta
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of not only diminishing the resistance to vaccine adoption in general, but also to reduce both real and perceived barriers to a swift vaccination campaign. One major problem faced by health systems around the world was that people’s preferences for a specific brand of vaccine often delayed vaccination efforts as people canceled or delayed appointments to receive their preferred brand. Therefore, in the event of another pandemic, it is important to know which factors influence preferences for specific vaccine brands. Previous literature showed that consumers choose products that are congruent with their self-concept, which includes their political affiliation. Given that the discourse around vaccine brands has been strongly politicized during the pandemic, in our work, we test whether partisanship influences preferences for COVID-19 vaccine brands. To test this, we collected survey data from Argentina (N = 432), a country with a clear bipartisan structure and where a variety of vaccine brands were administered, both from Western and Eastern laboratories. We found that supporters of the ruling party, which had strong ties with Eastern countries such as Russia and China, perceived Eastern vaccine brands (e.g., Sputnik V) to be more effective and safe than Western ones (e.g., Pfizer) whereas the contrary was true for supporters of the opposition. Our results also showed that supporters of the opposing party were more likely to wish to hypothetically switch vaccines, to delay their appointment in case of not receiving their preferred brand, and to disapprove of their local vaccination campaign. Our results demonstrate that political party affiliation biases perceptions of both vaccine brands’ quality and vaccination campaign effectiveness. We anticipate that our results can inform public policy strategies when it comes to an efficient vaccine supply allocation, as political affiliation is a measurable and predictable consumer trait.
Este artículo se encuentra publicado en SSRN 4292235.