COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is associated with beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus in the UK and Turkey

Salali, Gul Deniz and Uysal, Mete Sefa (2020) COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is associated with beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus in the UK and Turkey. Psychological Medicine. pp. 1-3. ISSN 0033-2917

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Abstract

Background
Much research effort is focused on developing an effective vaccine for combatting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development itself, however, will not be enough given that a sufficient amount of people will need to be vaccinated for widespread immunity. Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise, varies across countries, and is associated with conspiratorial worldview. Given the rise in COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, we aimed to examine the levels of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its association with beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus in a cross-cultural study.

Methods
We conducted an online survey in the UK (N = 1088) and Turkey (N = 3936), and gathered information on participants' willingness to vaccinate for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus, and several behavioural and demographic predictors (such as anxiety, risk perception, government satisfaction levels) that influence vaccination and origin beliefs.

Results
In all, 31% of the participants in Turkey and 14% in the UK were unsure about getting themselves vaccinated for a COVID-19 vaccine. In both countries, 3% of the participants rejected to be vaccinated. Also, 54% of the participants in Turkey and 63% in the UK believed in the natural origin of the novel coronavirus. Believing in the natural origin significantly increased the odds of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Conclusions
Our results point at a concerning level of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, especially in Turkey, and suggest that wider communication of the scientific consensus on the origin of the novel coronavirus with the public may help future campaigns targeting COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Mete Sefa Uysal
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2022 09:20
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 09:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/108059

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