There has been a lot of COVID vaccine hesitancy in Romania (my home country) which has lead to many unnecessary deaths and complications. Many people in developing countries are sometimes afraid or flat-out refuse to have COVID vaccines, even though the risk of developing the infection or even severe forms of the disease is very high.
Developed countries were quick to ease restrictions while new curfews were imposed in places where there is no trust in vaccines, with low uptake.
A lot of misinformation surrounding this topic has been widely shared on social media in countries like Romania, which has really shifted public perception around this topic. Healthcare authorities fought an uphill battle to convince people to get vaccinated while hospitals became overwhelmed. I am worried that the refusal to have the vaccine was not about the vaccine itself but related to the deep mistrust in public institutions and government.
In many developing countries, there has been very little interest in the past to communicate well with the public, to invest in public health and education campaigns and to provide quality public services. When COVID came, conspiracy theories seemed to be more logical than the response of the designated authorities. Unfortunately, it was the patients themselves who ended up suffering when they refused vaccines which have been shown to prevent severe forms of COVID-19 in most people.