myGP– the UK’s largest NHS-accredited independent healthcare management app, has run two behavioural studies, reaching over 2,600 under 25s, to measure changes in vaccine perception over the last 4 months.
The findings reveal that confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine amongst this age group has fallen by 3% since March, when vaccine rollout was in its mid stages, with 17.7% now not intending to get the vaccine. This data is particularly concerning as the latest Public Health England (PHE) coronavirus infection report revealed 20 to 29-year-olds now have the highest infection rate of any age group since the beginning of the pandemic (1,154 per 100,000).
Of the 17.7% who did not intend to get the vaccine, 16.3% said they would change their mind if vaccine passports were to be made mandatory.
Of those who said they did not intend to book a vaccine appointment, the 5 main reasons were:
1. Concern over the speed the vaccine was produced and tested
2. Worry over future long term side effects
3. Potential risk to babies – if vaccinated while pregnant or breastfeeding
4. Belief they were not at risk of infection due to age
5. Previous negative reactions to vaccines
We can offer an interview to myth bust and try to erase these objections to vaccination with Dr William Budd, Clinical Research Physician at Imperial College, who has played an instrumental role in the vaccine clinical trials, whose insight may help reassure members of the public who either fear the vaccine or simply do not believe that they should have it.
Dr William Budd, Clinical Research Physician at Imperial College comments on the concerns that are stopping people in the UK from wanting the vaccine:
“With the amount of misinformation out there, it’s no surprise that these five issues appeared repeatedly in the myGP study. Fortunately, there’s extensive, scientifically-backed research to show why these points shouldn’t be stumbling blocks in your journey to get vaccinated. The jargon used around Covid-19 can be overwhelming, which is why I’ve spent the last year breaking down vaccine news and misconceptions into TikToks that users don’t need a medical degree to understand.
My advice to any young people worried about potential side effects is to avoid going down a Google rabbit hole. The best way to get accurate answers is to speak to a healthcare provider, whether it’s your GP or a member of the team in the vaccination centre. For those hesitant to get their jab, I’d strongly encourage you to at least book your appointment. When you’re there, you have no legal obligation to go through with the jab, but I guarantee the team can answer all questions you have and, hopefully, help you reach a point where you’re confident to join the millions of under 25s who’ve already been vaccinated.”
If you are keen to interview Dr Budd about the study, and to hear his explanation in response to each concern, please do get in touch.