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Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327510


Background Debate is ongoing about mandating COVID-19 vaccination to maximise uptake. Policymakers must consider whether to mandate, for how long, and in which contexts, taking into account not only legal and ethical questions but also public opinion. Implementing mandates among populations who oppose them could be counterproductive. Methods Qualitative telephone interviews (Feb-May 2021) with British adults explored views on vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination. Participants (n=50) were purposively selected from respondents to a probability-based national survey of attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination, to include those expressing vaccine-hesitancy. Data were analysed thematically. Findings Six themes were identified in participants’ narratives concerning mandates: (i) mandates are a necessary and proportionate response for some occupations to protect the vulnerable and facilitate the resumption of free movement;(ii) mandates undermine autonomy and choice;(iii) mandates represent an over-reach of state power;(iv) mandates could potentially create ‘vaccine apartheid’;(v) the importance of context and framing;and (vi) mandates present considerable feasibility challenges. Those refusing vaccination tended to argue strongly against mandates. However, those in favour of vaccination also expressed concerns about freedom of choice, state coercion and social divisiveness. Discussion To our knowledge, this is the first in-depth UK study of public views on COVID-19 vaccine mandates. It does not assess support for different mandates but explores emotions, principles and reasoning underpinning views. Our data suggest that debate around mandates can arouse strong concerns and could entrench scepticism. Policymakers should proceed with caution. While surveys can provide snapshots of opinion on mandates, views are complex and further consultation is needed regarding specific scenarios.

BMJ Open ; 11(10): e055085, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495476


OBJECTIVES: To examine public views on COVID-19 vaccination and consider the implications for communications and targeted support. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Online and telephone nationally representative survey in Great Britain, January to February 2021. PARTICIPANTS: 4978 adults. Survey response rate was 84%, among the 5931 panellists invited. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, education, financial status), COVID-19 status, vaccine acceptance, trust in COVID-19 vaccination information sources, perceptions of vaccination priority groups and perceptions of importance of second dose. RESULTS: COVID-19 vaccine acceptance (83%) was associated with increasing age, higher level of education and having been invited for vaccination. Acceptance decreased with unconfirmed past COVID-19, greater financial hardship and non-white British ethnicity; black/black British participants had lowest acceptance. Overall, healthcare and scientific sources of information were most trusted. Compared with white British participants, other ethnicities had lower trust in healthcare and scientific sources. Those with lower educational attainment or financial hardship had lower trust in healthcare and scientific sources. Those with no qualifications had higher trust in media and family/friends. While trust was low overall in community or faith leaders, it was higher among those with Asian/Asian British and black/black British ethnicity compared with white British participants. Views of vaccine prioritisation were mostly consistent with UK official policy but there was support for prioritising additional groups. There was high support for having the second vaccine dose. CONCLUSIONS: Targeted engagement is needed to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in non-white British ethnic groups, in younger adults, and among those with lower education, greater financial hardship and unconfirmed past infection. Healthcare professionals and scientific advisors should play a central role in communications and tailored messaging is needed for hesitant groups. Careful communication around vaccination prioritisation continues to be required.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Attitude , Communication , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination