COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among health and social care workers during mass vaccination in Scotland

Nicola Cogan, Lisa McInnes, Vanissia Lingg, Susan Rasmussen, Paul Flowers, Lynn Williams

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Abstract

Health and social care workers (HSCWs) have an essential role in the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is an emotionally charged issue and perceptions of risk associated with COVID19 can contribute towards vaccine hesitancy (VH). The aim of this study was to explore the role of emotion and risk perception associated with HSCWs’ uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine during the initial mass roll-out of the vaccine in Scotland. A cross-sectional online survey with a correlational design was used. An online survey was conducted with HSCWs (N = 1189) aged 18 to 67 years (M = 44.09 yrs, SD = 11.48) working in Scotland during the third lockdown period (26 December–31 March 2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey collected data relating to sociodemographic characteristics, vaccine uptake and VH, emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and risk perception. Open-ended free text data were also collected on HSCWs’ main reasons for VH. Most participants (83.96%) felt positively about the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, stating it would be beneficial for themselves and others to receive it. Nonetheless, 16.04% of HSCWs expressed VH. Occupational group, age, gender and risk perceptions did not affect variance in VH, but positive emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine and years of experience did. We emphasise the importance of future interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake by enhancing positive emotions and reducing ambivalent emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine particularly among less experienced HSCWs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Early online date8 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • mass vaccination
  • Health and social care workers
  • risk perception
  • emotions

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