A Qualitative Exploration of Perceptions of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the United Kingdom During the Later Stages of the Vaccine Rollout

Judith Eberhardt, Jonathan Ling

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Although COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the United Kingdom (UK) has been encouraging, many individuals are either hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or refuse to do so. Research has uncovered associated demographic and psychological factors, but there is a lack of qualitative work involving individuals across the UK to explore reasons for this hesitancy. We aimed to qualitatively explore perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine in individuals across the UK during the latter stages of the vaccine rollout.
METHODS: Free-text responses were collected within an online survey assessing factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. In total, 861 individuals took part (156 males, 698 females, 1 non-binary, 6 preferred not to say); 217 provided free-text responses. The mean age was 42.04 (SD = 13.20). 631 respondents (73.3%) had been vaccinated and 230 (26.7%) had not. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted.
RESULTS: Five themes were yielded, describing fear as a vaccination barrier; perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine being ineffective, unnecessary, unnatural, and experimental; perceived pressure to get vaccinated; practical barriers to getting vaccinated; and getting vaccinated to protect others and ‘get back to normal’.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TRANSLATION: Measures to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake should target misinformation, fear, and practical factors as deterrents. Interventions such as motivational interviewing should be considered for guiding individuals towards considering COVID-19 vaccination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Translational Medical Research and Public Health
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022

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