Why are white people so gullible?

That is, I think, a more pertinent reframing of the question “Why is the vaccine uptake lower amongst some ethnic minorities?

I think we are probably well aware of why black and south Asian people are reticent. They don’t trust the establishment, and they are correct not to do so.

Vaccine hesitancy in some ethnic minorities, because of past institutional racism and poor experience of public services, is not new and there is evidence supporting their genuine concerns. When interpreting low vaccine uptake, in predominantly Black communities especially, history profoundly matters. There are historical ethical violations, including the Depo-Provera study, conducted in East London in 1979, where a 14-year old Black girl was administered the contraceptive, without consent, while under general anaesthesia. [13] When questioned, the administering physician responded that as “a citizen of this country…it was his moral duty to do so”. [13] Depo-Provera was also trialled on Asian women without their knowledge or consent, leading the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent to launch the Campaign Against Depo-Provera.[13] Similarly, in the US, the 40-year Tuskegee syphilis study was conducted on Black men without informed consent until whistleblowers ended it in 1972; the diseased men were left untreated, with large numbers suffering and dying, even when penicillin became the drug of choice in 1947. [14] 


I’ve been watching our establishment closely for more than two decades now and I don’t trust them either, but it seems to me that the common thread with those I know who have succumbed to the stabotage is that in spite of a lifetime witnessing cock-up after cock-up, conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory becoming established fact, corruption, lobbying, the revolving door between Downing Street and C-suites, they still trust these fuckers enough to let them inject a novel drug with unknown long-term effects.

It just makes no sense. Perhaps comfortable middle-class white people are more prone to hypochondria and fear generally, more than those who live at the coal-face of risk and peril.

Naturally, things being as they are, there’s a great deal of hand-wringing and talk of the need for understanding, empathy and engagement with ethnic minorities who are resistant to the pleas to get vaxxed. We wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings after all.

But no such regard exists for the white working classes who are similarly aligned on the hesitancy front. And because by sheer numbers this is the largest group, pundits and politicians feel free to generally hurl insults at the ‘selfish unvaccinated’.

It’s tempting to say ‘oh well, there we are then, it’s thick people and poor people who are unvaccinated’, but some research findings indicate that the most highly educated people are also more hesitant than those with a moderate level of education. Similarly, there are indications that people working in healthcare are more reticent than your average Joe. I mean… if a significant number of people who work in healthcare have concerns, what can that possibly tell us? And although some of this data is now old, stories continue to circulate that predict a massive staffing problem for the NHS when the jab becomes manadatory for healthcare workers.

So where do you go from there? Are people who work in healthcare thick and poor? Do you want to make that your next move after spending 6 months clapping on your doorstep for these heroes and angels?

How about a correlation between working in healthcare and – on the basis of grim experience – lacking trust in government and pharmaceutical companies? That would make some sense. They see the mistakes, the negligence and the neglect every single day. They succeed at healthcare – in so far as they do – in spite of the government, and the NHS organisation, and not because of it.

So to bring us back to the titular question, it’s very clearly ‘not all white people’, but it does seem to be the comfortable middle who are insulated from the worst failings of the government, but are not sufficiently well educated to have a firm grasp on the significance (or otherwise) of the blizzard of statistics we’ve been treated to over the last two years.



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