COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Hesitancy Survey in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour: COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Hesitancy Survey

Gavin Breslin, Martin Dempster, Emma Berry, Matthew Cavanagh, Nicola Armstrong

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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Abstract

The global COVID-19 pandemic first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019 (World Health Organisation, 2020) and since then has caused unprecedented economic and social disruption as well as presenting a major challenge to public health (World Health Organisation, 2020).

On the 8th December 2020 the first person in the UK received a Coronavirus vaccination, since then efforts to roll out the vaccine have been encouraging. As of March 15th, 2021, 24, 453,221 individuals have received their first vaccine dose, while 1,610,280 have received a second dose. In Northern Ireland 629, 461 received a first dose and 54,636 received a second dose (Public Health England 2021).

Despite the mass progress in the public health distribution of vaccinations, there are individuals who will perceive vaccination as unsafe and/or unnecessary. Vaccine hesitancy also known as anti-vaccination or anti-vax is when there is a delay in acceptance or refusal of a vaccine by an individual despite their availability to the public.

The overall aims of the survey were to assess COVID-19 vaccine uptake and hesitancy in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and to offer evidence-based guidance on promoting uptake and reducing hesitancy.

Key findings:
• 66.7% of the sample intended to get a vaccination as soon as possible
• 27.15% reported that they will get their vaccine when others get theirs and
when it is clear there are no side effects.
• 6.15% of the sample have no intention of getting a vaccine
• There is a high mean intention (M=6.12) to get a COVID-19 vaccine (TPB)
• There is a high level of confidence to get a COVID-19 vaccine (VCS)
• There was low vaccine hesitancy (score (M=2.49) as measured by the VAX
scale
• There is uncertainty and mistrust of side effects for children, this may because there is no vaccine currently available for children, or parents being apprehensive about children receiving a safe vaccine in the future.

The report includes a detailed breakdown of the survey questions, and recommendations. A summary powerpoint presentation of the report is also available. Follow up interviews are currently underway with a subsample of those surveyed who were hesitant to receive a vaccine.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2021

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