Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Science and Management

Reader 1

Frederick Lynch

Reader 2

Anna Wenzel

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© 2021 Arely Y Balderas


Vaccine hesitancy is often defined as an individual choice to actively delay or refuse vaccinations despite the availability of vaccination services (MacDonald and SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy 2015). This growing phenomenon affects public health officials' ability to protect populations from deadly infectious diseases. While common vaccine hesitancy factors are still at play, the COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges because of its occurrence during what many described as cultural wars within the United States.

Studies conducted prior to vaccine distribution were essential to get a general sense of vaccine hesitancy across the U.S. and factors contributing to it. However, these past studies have failed to acknowledge the impact the social, cultural, and political context of the pandemic had on vaccine intake. The proposed study is designed to demonstrate the importance of relaying consistent, accurate, and credible information to the public during a national health crisis. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an excessive amount of inconsistent information relayed to the public. The cross-sectional study presented will assess Texas and California residents' current intent on being vaccinated against COVID-19 through a general survey. The survey developed will contain questions to (1) assess both population’s intent on getting vaccinated and (2) determine the underlying factors associated with a higher or lower intent as they relate to COVID-19.

Based on the literature review, it is expected that in areas where state and local authorities negate the importance of the disease there will be a higher percentage of vaccine hesitancy. These results will demonstrate the need for centralized information on the risk of VPDs and the benefits of vaccination services. The United States response was less than ideal in the beginning months of the pandemic, but there is still time to have it corrected.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.