Ryan J. Walsh


Presentation: 10:45-12:00, Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Vaccinations protect people against diseases and prevent the spread of harmful infections. However, when comparing the total flu vaccination uptake prior to the pandemic and the total amount of uptake in 2024, there is a 9.97% decrease in the number of doses distributed. During the 2019-2020 flu season, 174.77 million doses of flu vaccines were distributed through the week ending on February 15, 2020. In comparison, during the 2023-2024 flu season, 157.35 million doses of flu vaccines were distributed for the week ending on February 17, 2024 (CDC, 2024). The present research will examine whether this decrease is related to political polarization surrounding COVID-19 vaccination uptake. During the pandemic, political polarization influenced people’s health decisions. For example, one study looking at the political polarization on COVID-19 pandemic response in the United States found that U.S. conservatives and Republicans were less likely to report intentions to receive a vaccine (Kerr et al., 2021). The current study will examine whether COVID-19 vaccination decisions spillover into flu vaccination decisions. The study will launch in mid-March 2024. We aim to recruit 100 undergraduate participants enrolled in Psychology courses at the University of Dayton to complete an online survey. The first part of the survey will ask participants to answer questions regarding their COVID-19 and flu vaccination history prior to the pandemic and after the pandemic. The second part will ask participants to answer questions regarding the reasons for receiving or not receiving both the COVID-19 and flu vaccination, and their political ideology. We will conduct regression analyses to determine whether political ideology relates to the COVID-19 to flu vaccination spillover phenomenon. We expect to find that conservatives are more likely to avoid receiving flu vaccinations after the pandemic as a result of the politicization of public health.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Joy E. Losee

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Critical Evaluation of Our Times; Community

Vaccine Attitude Spillover: COVID-19 Vaccination, Flu Vaccination, and Political Polarization