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COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK

Buckell, John; Jones, Joel; Matthews, Philippa; Diamond, Ian; Rourke, Emma; Studley, Ruth; Cook, Duncan; ... Pouwels, Koen B; + view all (2023) COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK. Scientific Reports , 13 , Article 8441. 10.1038/s41598-023-34244-2. Green open access

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Abstract

The physiological effects of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are well documented, yet the behavioural effects not well known. Risk compensation suggests that gains in personal safety, as a result of vaccination, are offset by increases in risky behaviour, such as socialising, commuting and working outside the home. This is potentially important because transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is driven by contacts, which could be amplified by vaccine-related risk compensation. Here, we show that behaviours were overall unrelated to personal vaccination, but—adjusting for variation in mitigation policies—were responsive to the level of vaccination in the wider population: individuals in the UK were risk compensating when rates of vaccination were rising. This effect was observed across four nations of the UK, each of which varied policies autonomously.

Type: Article
Title: COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-34244-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-34244-2
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10169371
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