University of Sussex
covid-19-vaccine-hesitancy-is-associated-with-beliefs-on-the-origin-of-the-novel-coronavirus-in-the-uk-and-turkey.pdf (236.22 kB)

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is associated with beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus in the UK and Turkey

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-10, 04:47 authored by Gul Deniz Salali, Mete Sefa UysalMete Sefa Uysal
Background Much research effort is focused on developing an effective vaccine for combatting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development itself, however, will not be enough given that a sufficient amount of people will need to be vaccinated for widespread immunity. Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise, varies across countries, and is associated with conspiratorial worldview. Given the rise in COVID-19-related conspiracy theories, we aimed to examine the levels of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and its association with beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus in a cross-cultural study. Methods We conducted an online survey in the UK (N = 1088) and Turkey (N = 3936), and gathered information on participants' willingness to vaccinate for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, beliefs on the origin of the novel coronavirus, and several behavioural and demographic predictors (such as anxiety, risk perception, government satisfaction levels) that influence vaccination and origin beliefs. Results In all, 31% of the participants in Turkey and 14% in the UK were unsure about getting themselves vaccinated for a COVID-19 vaccine. In both countries, 3% of the participants rejected to be vaccinated. Also, 54% of the participants in Turkey and 63% in the UK believed in the natural origin of the novel coronavirus. Believing in the natural origin significantly increased the odds of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Conclusions Our results point at a concerning level of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, especially in Turkey, and suggest that wider communication of the scientific consensus on the origin of the novel coronavirus with the public may help future campaigns targeting COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.


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Psychological Medicine




Cambridge University Press

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