With the push to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19, this study assessed theoretically sound psychosocial predictors of people’s willingness to get the vaccine. Results revealed that when individuals had positive attitudes towards the vaccine and perceived there to be high susceptibility to getting COVID-19, high benefits of the vaccine, few barriers to getting the vaccine, high self-efficacy, and believed that others were getting the vaccine, they were more likely to intend to get the vaccine themselves. Based on these findings, the authors encourage message designers to focus on not only the concerns with the vaccine and its perceived rushed development but also the benefits of getting vaccinated. They also note that attempting to re-establish trust with government agencies will be beneficial in getting more people vaccinated.
Another correspondence also focuses on rebuilding this trust and suggests that a local public education and role-modeling approach from public health officials is necessary for rebuilding public trust. This is especially important given that recent research has suggested a significant distrust against the vaccine, even among medical professionals. Therefore, various approaches to creating effective strategic communication to address vaccine hesitancy are necessary. Consistent across approaches, however, is the need for trust by focusing on the six determinants identified by the World Health Organization: competence, objectivity, fairness, consistency, sincerity, and faith.
Finally, addressing concerns with the vaccine is not just a problem for Americans. To get the global pandemic under control, all countries need to persuade their citizens to be vaccinated. In this study focusing on the Spanish and European legislative framework, the authors found a high degree of vaccine hesitation, but they believe that can be overcome by focusing on the benefits of the vaccine and providing truthful information instead of trying to mandate COVID-19 vaccination. They also found that the public values information from health care professionals and does not want government officials collaborating with the media.