The webinar series “Humanity and Health” serves as a focus for research and reflection about the social, economic, psychological, educational, and public health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These webinar events, which are free and open to the public, are hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and are co-sponsored with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Hudson College of Public Health, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OU Health Sciences), and the OU Arts and Humanities Forum.
As the world learns how to live with COVID-19, vaccinating as many individuals as possible becomes paramount. At the same time, due to the disease’s public profile and politicization, vaccine hesitancy grew, posing challenges to public health systems and authorities even in countries that had a strong tradition of mass vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy is not just in the society at large, but also among health care professionals. This adds complexity to the problem, since these professionals play a decisive role in convincing ordinary citizens to vaccinate. But these professionals are embedded in institutional systems and social relationships that can enable or constrain their behavior. How does this dynamic between structure and agency play out and what effects can it have to the increase or decrease of vaccine hesitancy? This webinar will report on a convergent, transdisciplinary, and transnational research project currently being designed to investigate these issues in Brazil and the US.