I have contributed to a study just published in Social Media + Society (open access) that sheds light on the factors that predict members of the UK public’s intention to encourage or discourage vaccination against COVID-19.
Chadwick, A., Kaiser, J., Vaccari, C., Freeman, D., Lambe, S., Loe, B. S., … Yu, L.-M. (2021). Online Social Endorsement and Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in the United Kingdom. Social Media + Society, 7, 20563051211008816.
Based on a large online survey of a sample that matches the UK adult population on key demographics, we find that about one-third of the British public intends to encourage vaccination against COVID-19, about one-tenth intends to discourage vaccination, and the majority are undecided. Vaccine hesitancy is a key predictor of the intention to encourage or discourage vaccination, but the media from which people get their vaccine news also matter, particularly in conjunction with news-finds-me attitudes and conspiracy mentalities.
This has been a joint effort with Andrew Chadwick, Johannes Kaiser, Daniel Freeman, Sinéad Lambe, Bao S. Loe, Samantha Vanderslott, Stephan Lewandowsky, Meghan Conroy, Andrew R. N. Ross, Stefania Innocenti, Andrew J. Pollard, Felicity Waite, Michael Larkin, Laina Rosebrock, Lucy Jenner, Helen McShane, Alberto Giubilini, Ariane Petit & Ly-Mee Yu and part of the ongoing Oxford Coronavirus Explanations, Attitudes, and Narratives (OCEANS) project — a collaboration involving Oxford, Loughborough, Cambridge, Aston, and Bristol universities, led by Professor Daniel Freeman at Oxford.
My colleague Andrew Chadwick, who is the lead author of this article, summarized the key findings and policy recommendations emerging from the study in this post on Medium. The study has been covered extensively by UK media, including ITV.