Comerford D, Olivarius O, Dawson A, Brown T, Bell D, McGregor L, Pemble C, McCabe L & Douglas E (2021) Did Negative News Regarding the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine end in Vaccine Hesitancy? A Repeated Cross-Section Event Study from the UK.
Vaccine hesitancy is influenced by perceived risk and benefits. On March 15th 2021 various countries suspended use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 following deaths arising from blood clots. The story became headline news and online search querying vaccine safety increased. What happened to Covid-19 vaccine intentions? We were collecting relevant data at the time. Our survey asked UK adults if they intended to get the vaccine and measured their attitudes towards it. Data collection from respondents before coverage of the story reached its peak (March 12th -15th; n = 241) was compared with responses after the peak (March 17th; n = 305). Our data show no reductions in intentions or attitudes. Our study is uniquely positioned to analyse real-world responses and indicates that media coverage of this story did not reduce intention to take up the vaccine in the UK.
Vaccine hesitancy; risk perception; belief updating; naturalistic; event study