Written by: Dr Kerrie Wiley and Professor Julie Leask
The COVID-19 pandemic is an international public health emergency with major social, economic, environmental and health consequences. Vaccination is an important strategy needed to control the effects of the pandemic, and the effectiveness of vaccination programs hinges on the public’s uptake of vaccines. Low vaccination rates are often assumed to be the result of vaccine hesitancy; however hesitancy– a motivational state of being conflicted or opposed to vaccination – is one of a number of social and behavioural drivers of vaccine uptake. The practicalities of going about getting vaccinated also play an important role², yet is often overlooked. Governments must understand and address these drivers in vaccine uptake when deciding how to address low vaccination rates.