Effects of different types of written vaccination information on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK (OCEANS-III): a single-blind, parallel-group, randomised control trial

May 12, 2021

Prof Daniel Freeman, PhD, Bao Sheng Loe, PhD, Ly-Mee Yu, DPhil, Jason Freeman, MA, Prof Andrew Chadwick, PhD, Prof Cristian Vaccari, PhD, Milensu Shanyinde, MSc, Victoria Harris, PhD, Felicity Waite, DClinPsych, Laina Rosebrock, PhD, Ariane Petit, MSc, Samantha Vanderslott, PhD, Prof Stephan Lewandowsky, PhD, Michael Larkin, PhD, Stefania Innocenti, PhD, Prof Andrew J Pollard, PhD, Prof Helen McShane, PhD, Sinéad Lambe, DClinPsy.

Lancet

Freeman et al. developed the Oxford Coronavirus Explanations, Attitudes, and Narratives Survey III (OCEANS-III) to understand how different types of written information impact one’s willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19. First, participants answered a question to determine whether they were “willing”, “doubtful”, or “strongly hesitant” to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Then, they read different messages addressing personal benefits, collective benefits, seriousness of the pandemic, safety concerns, and combinations of the former, with a statement about the overall effectiveness and safety of the vaccine being the control. After reading their assigned message, participants completed the Oxford COVID vaccine hesitancy scale and the Oxford vaccine confidence and complacency scale. For participants who were “willing” or “doubtful”, statements regarding vaccine efficacy and safety did not change hesitancy levels. As the hesitancy level increased, participants negative attitude towards the vaccine, also increased. For those who were strongly hesitant, learning about the personal benefits was significantly more effective in reducing hesitancy than learning about the collective benefits. Those who were strongly hesitant also had concerns regarding the safety of the vaccines given the speed at which they were developed. When this concern was addressed, hesitancy also decreased. Focusing on the personal benefits and debunking misinformation are key targets for reducing vaccine hesitancy.

Freeman D, Freeman JM, Waite DClinPsych F, et al. Effects of different types of written vaccination information on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the UK (OCEANS-III): a single-blind, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial. Artic Lancet Public Heal 2021; 6: 416–43.

Related Articles

Partners