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Efficacy Information May Help Convert COVID-19 Vaccine Doubters

With vaccine uptake slowing, any information that can help is needed to increase administration.

A recent study conducted by investigators from the University of Bristol has found that informing individuals who are unsure about being vaccinated for COVID-19 on the vaccines efficacy and how it compares to the flu vaccine can boost uptake.

Results from the study were published in the British Journal of Health.

"The general positive effect of providing key information is not surprising, as we knew already that people's perception of the effectiveness of a vaccine is an important factor in their vaccination intentions,” Colin Davis, lead author on the study said. “But the extra benefit of providing comparative information is a novel finding which underscores the vital role of communication in improving vaccine uptake."

For the study, the investigators sent out 2 surveys to people between the ages of 18 and 85 last December. The first survey included 2,400 participants and found that 65% of them agreed or strongly agreed that they would take the COVID-19, which was not available yet. However, 12% said that they would not get the vaccine and 23% were unsure.

The investigators then sent a second survey to the 481 participants who stated that they were unsure. This survey sought to understand whether or not providing relevant data would help pursuade them to get the vaccine.

The findings showed that when no information was given, the majority of respondents views remained unchanged. When the efficacy of the vaccines was given, 20% said that their confidence in the vaccines grew.

Additionally, when they compared the COVID-19 vaccines to flu vaccines for the past 15 years, the respondent’s confidence grew again by a similar margin.

"The findings show the positive potential of the contrast effect. Pointing out factual comparisons can be helpful when making a decision, particularly about something new,” Davis said. “People value evidence-based information and this can provide affirmation and reassurance for cautious groups."