Published: 27 November 2020
An online survey by NIHR researchers looking at attitudes to having a future COVID-19 vaccination found that 64% of people would be likely to have a COVID-19 vaccination when one became available.
The online survey of 1,500 UK adults by researchers from NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Emergency Preparedness and Response also reported that 27% were unsure if they would have the vaccination, and just 9% reported that they were unlikely to be vaccinated.
The online cross-sectional survey was conducted to understand the expected uptake of a future COVID-19 vaccine. The researchers collected the data between 14 and 17 July 2020 and analysed associations between intention to be vaccinated when a vaccine becomes available, and socio-demographic factors such as age, race, ethnicity, and education, previous influenza vaccination, general vaccine attitudes and beliefs, attitudes and beliefs about COVID-19, and attitudes and beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccination.
The results, published in the journal Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, showed that several factors were found to be associated with likelihood of accepting a coronavirus vaccine. People who had been vaccinated for flu last year were more likely to intend to be vaccinated for coronavirus, as were older people, people with more positive vaccination beliefs and attitudes, and people who perceived a greater risk of COVID-19 to others.
Dr Louise Smith, from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said: “A coronavirus vaccine could offer us a chance to get back on the road to ‘normal’. However, the vaccination programme will only be successful if people want to be vaccinated. We found that almost two thirds of the general population said that they would be likely to be vaccinated for coronavirus when a vaccine became available to them.
“Although there is still considerable uncertainty around the details of a coronavirus vaccination, it is encouraging that most people report that they would be vaccinated for coronavirus when a vaccine becomes available to them.”
Joint first author Dr Sue Sherman, from Keele University’s School of Psychology, said: “The scale and impact of COVID-19 are such that when a vaccine becomes available, we need to ensure that uptake is maximised in order to contain the mounting social and economic costs associated with the virus.
“The highly contagious nature of COVID-19 means that once a vaccine becomes available, ensuring a good uptake will play an important role in reducing unnecessary deaths. In order to maximise the uptake of the coronavirus vaccine, campaigns to support vaccination programmes overall, including for other routine vaccination programmes such as the annual winter flu programme, will need to be in place.”