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Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy with Application of Latent Dirichlet Allocation to Reddit Corpora

. Samuel Duraivel P, DR Lavanya R, DR Samuel Gideon George P Department of Media Sciences, CEG - Anna University, Chennai ** Department of Media Sciences, CEG - Anna University, Chennai Department of Pharmacy Practice, Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy, B


This research paper explores the underlying factors that contribute toward vaccine hesitancy, resistance, and refusal. Using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), an unsupervised generative-probabilistic model, we generated latent topics from user generated Reddit corpora on reasons for Vaccine hesitancy. Although we hoped to explore the grounds for vaccine hesitancy across the globe, our findings suggest that the corpus used for analysis had been generated by users living predominantly in the United States.Observation of the topics generated by the LDA model led to the discovery of the following latent factors: (i) fear of risks and side effects, (ii) lack of trust in policymakers, (iii) related to religious belief, (iv) related to mass surveillance theories, (v) perception of vaccination as a precedence to totalitarianism, (vi) racial background pertaining to retrospective events of racial injustice, such as selective sterilization, (vii) depopulation agenda fueled by theories affiliated to Global warming and extinction rebellion, (viii) and perception of vaccination as a campaign to quell immigrant population growth, fueled by reports of coerced sterilization of immigrants in the ICE detention.


Index Terms- Vaccine hesitancy; coronavirus; latent dirichlet allocation; bayesian statistics.

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