I completed this analysis in 2021 as part of the University of Washington’s Departmental Honors Program. This essay was a true labor of love. I worked on it through numerous personal and public catastrophes, including (but not limited to) contracting COVID-19 and the Texas snowstorm of 2021.
By no fault of my own, this is not a political essay. In fact, I propose that the diverging uptake of COVID vaccines in the US and the UK in 2021 resulted from the institutionalized practices by which members of the two countries test and deploy knowledge claims, rather than from the failure (or machinations) of politicians.