Social patterning and stability of intention to accept a COVID-19 vaccine in Scotland: will those most at risk accept a vaccine?

Lynn Williams, Paul Flowers, Julie McLeod, David Young, Lesley-Anne Rollins, CATALYST project team

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Vaccination is central to controlling COVID-19. Its success relies on having safe and effective vaccines and also on high levels of uptake by the public over time. Addressing questions of population-level acceptability, stability of acceptance and sub-population variation in acceptability are imperative. Using a prospective design, a repeated measures two-wave online survey was conducted to assess key sociodemographic variables and intention to accept a COVID-19 vaccine. The first survey (time 1) was completed by 3436 people during the period of national lockdown in Scotland and the second survey (n = 2016) was completed two months later (time 2) when restrictions had been eased. At time one, 74% reported being willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Logistic regression analyses showed that there were clear sociodemographic differences in intention to accept a vaccine for COVID-19 with intention being higher in participants of white ethnicity in comparison to Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, and in those with higher income levels and higher education levels. Intention was also higher in those who were ‘shielding’ due to underlying medical conditions. Our results suggest that future interventions such as mass media and social marketing need to be targeted to a range of sub-populations and diverse communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • vaccination
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • interventions
  • social patterning
  • inequalities

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