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COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and the role of social media in ethnic minorities groups in the UK

Naqvi, Maryam; Li, Lan; Woodrow, Michael; Yadav, Punam; Kostkova, Patty; (2022) COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and the role of social media in ethnic minorities groups in the UK. Frontiers in Public Health (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and administered at record pace in order to curtail the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine hesitancy has impacted uptake unequally across different groups. This study explores the drivers for vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minority groups in the UK, the impact of social media on vaccine hesitancy and how vaccine hesitancy may be overcome. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted, coded and thematically analyzed with participants from ethnic minority groups in the UK who identified as vaccine hesitant. Social media played a significant role in vaccine hesitancy. For those who considered themselves healthy, seeing misinformation of extreme side effects relating to COVID-19 vaccinations on social media resulted in the opinion that the risk of vaccination is greater than risk from COVID-19 infection. For women, misinformation on social media regarding fertility was a reason for delaying or not getting vaccinated. Access and trust of sources of information outside of social media increased likelihood of vaccination. This study identified the broad spectrum of views on vaccine hesitancy in ethnic minority groups in the UK. Enabling factors such as a desire to travel, and positive public health messaging can increase vaccine uptake, whereas a lack of trusted sources of information may cause vaccine hesitancy. Further research is required to combat misinformation and conspiracy theories. Effective methods include actively responding and disproving the misinformation. For an inclusive vaccination programme that reduces health inequality, policy makers should build trust amongst marginalized communities and address their concerns through tailored public health messaging.

Type: Article
Title: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and the role of social media in ethnic minorities groups in the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh...
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Naqvi, LI, Woodrow, Yadav and Kostkova. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: vaccine1, Hesitancy2, COVID-193, Ethnic Minorities4, Social media5
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10150234
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