We study the impact of public health messages on intentions to vaccinate and vaccination uptakes, especially among hesitant groups. We performed an experiment comparing the effects of egoistic and altruistic messages on COVID-19 vaccine intentions and behaviour. We administered different messages at random in a survey of 6379 adults in December 2020, following up with participants in the nationally representative survey Citizens’ Attitudes Under COVID-19 Project covering nine high-income countries (Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, the UK and the USA). Four alternative interventions were tested, based on narratives of (1) self-protection, (2) protecting others, (3) reducing health risks and (4) economic protection. We measure vaccination intentions in the December 2020 survey and elicit actual vaccination behaviour by respondents in the June/July 2021 survey. Messages conveying self-protection had no effect on vaccine intentions but altruistic messages, emphasising protecting other individuals (0.022, 95% CI −0.004 to 0.048), population health (0.030, 95% CI 0.003 to 0.056) and the economy (0.038, 95% CI 0.013 to 0.064) had substantially stronger effects. These effects were stronger in countries experiencing high COVID-19 mortality (Austria, France, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the USA), where health risks may have been more salient, but weaker and, in several cases, not significant where mortality was low (Australia, Germany and New Zealand). On follow-up at 6 months, these brief communication interventions corresponded to substantially higher vaccination uptake. Our experiments found that commonly employed narratives around self-protection had no effect. However, altruistic messages about protecting individuals, population health and the economy had substantially positive and enduring effects on increasing vaccination intentions. Our results can help structure communication campaigns during pandemics and are likely to generalise to other vaccine-preventable epidemics.

Addressing vaccine hesitancy: experimental evidence from nine high-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemic

Galasso, Vincenzo
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Profeta, Paola;Stuckler, David
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2023

Abstract

We study the impact of public health messages on intentions to vaccinate and vaccination uptakes, especially among hesitant groups. We performed an experiment comparing the effects of egoistic and altruistic messages on COVID-19 vaccine intentions and behaviour. We administered different messages at random in a survey of 6379 adults in December 2020, following up with participants in the nationally representative survey Citizens’ Attitudes Under COVID-19 Project covering nine high-income countries (Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, the UK and the USA). Four alternative interventions were tested, based on narratives of (1) self-protection, (2) protecting others, (3) reducing health risks and (4) economic protection. We measure vaccination intentions in the December 2020 survey and elicit actual vaccination behaviour by respondents in the June/July 2021 survey. Messages conveying self-protection had no effect on vaccine intentions but altruistic messages, emphasising protecting other individuals (0.022, 95% CI −0.004 to 0.048), population health (0.030, 95% CI 0.003 to 0.056) and the economy (0.038, 95% CI 0.013 to 0.064) had substantially stronger effects. These effects were stronger in countries experiencing high COVID-19 mortality (Austria, France, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the USA), where health risks may have been more salient, but weaker and, in several cases, not significant where mortality was low (Australia, Germany and New Zealand). On follow-up at 6 months, these brief communication interventions corresponded to substantially higher vaccination uptake. Our experiments found that commonly employed narratives around self-protection had no effect. However, altruistic messages about protecting individuals, population health and the economy had substantially positive and enduring effects on increasing vaccination intentions. Our results can help structure communication campaigns during pandemics and are likely to generalise to other vaccine-preventable epidemics.
2023
2023
Galasso, Vincenzo; Pons, Vincent; Profeta, Paola; Mckee, Martin; Stuckler, David; Becher, Michael; Brouard, Sylvain; Foucault, Martial
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4060058
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