Founded in 2010 The Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) was developed to understand responses to hesitancy and misinformation on vaccination programmes. Today, the purpose of the project is to monitor public confidence in immunisation programmes through research and analysis.
The VCP, in collaboration with ORB International, have conducted one of the largest COVID-19 vaccine studies in the UK in 2021 to identify hesitancy and confidence amongst the population. The large sample size affords the ability to not only heat map COVID-19 vaccine confidence but also look at pertinent subgroups with a higher degree of statistical reliability.
The data reveals a statistically significant increase in COVID-19 vaccine confidence between W1 and W2. Back in October when a range of vaccines were yet to be approved, we found that just 49% of the UK population said they would “definitely” take the vaccine. By April 2021 that number had increased to 63%.
We have also seen a rise in COVID-19 vaccine confidence amongst the BAME community and women – who are now expressing as much confidence in the vaccine as men.
Amongst those yet to be vaccinated and stating they are ‘unsure’ about taking the vaccine, safety concerns regarding the vaccine itself continue to drive hesitancy, followed by perceptions that its development was ‘rushed’. Being offered ‘a choice of vaccine’ would do the most to convert those who are hesitant to become vaccine confident.
The proposal for vaccine passports has a neutral to negative impact on vaccine hesitancy – particularly among the Black community. If vaccine passports are to be launched the narrative should focus on international rather than domestic implications of the passport.
Fieldwork was carried out online amongst a UK nationally representative sample of 17,110 adults aged 18+ between 27 September and 14 October 2020; and 16,610 adults aged 18+ between 9 and 27 April 2021. Data is weighted to match the profile of the population.
ORB International is a small business operating in 115 countries around the world providing monitoring and evaluation, nationally representative surveys, rapid assessments and specialised research in complex environments. Utilising a data-centric and quality-first model, our primary focus is mixed-methods social and political research including the topics of counter-violent-extremism, governance, and working with vulnerable populations.