COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Acceptance in Ethnic Minority Individuals in the United Kingdom: A mixed-methods study using Protection Motivation Theory

Judith Eberhardt, John Kabuye, Alyssa Agaimwonyi, Jonathan Ling

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Uptake of the COVID-19 booster vaccine among ethnic minority individuals has been lower than in the general population. However, there is little research examining the psychosocial factors that contribute to COVID-19 booster vaccine hesitancy in this population.
Our study aimed to determine which factors predicted COVID-19 vaccination intention in minority ethnic individuals in Middlesbrough, using Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs, in addition to demographic variables.
We used a mixed-methods approach. Quantitative data were collected using an online survey. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews. 64 minority ethnic individuals (33 females, 31 males; mage = 31.06, SD = 8.36) completed the survey assessing PMT constructs, COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and demographic factors. 42.2% had received the booster vaccine, 57.6% had not. 16 survey respondents were interviewed online to gain further insight into factors affecting booster vaccine acceptance.
Multiple regression analysis showed that perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 was a significant predictor of booster vaccination intention, with higher perceived susceptibility being associated with higher intention to get the booster. Additionally, COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs significantly predicted intention to get the booster vaccine, with higher conspiracy beliefs being associated with lower intention to get the booster dose. Thematic analysis of the interview data showed that barriers to COVID-19 booster vaccination included time constraints and a perceived lack of practical support in the event of experiencing side effects. Furthermore, there was a lack of confidence in the vaccine, with individuals seeing it as lacking sufficient research. Participants also spoke of medical mistrust due to historical events involving medical experimentation on minority ethnic individuals.
PMT and conspiracy beliefs predict COVID-19 booster vaccination in minority ethnic individuals. To help increase vaccine uptake, community leaders need to be involved in addressing people’s concerns, misassumptions, and lack of confidence in COVID-19 vaccination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023
Event18th European Congress of Psychology 2023 - The Brighton Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20236 Jul 2023


Conference18th European Congress of Psychology 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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