NEWS11 June 2021

Health workers best source of Covid-19 vaccine information

Covid-19 Healthcare News People Trends UK

UK – Frontline healthcare workers and everyday people are seen as more reliable sources of information on Covid-19 vaccines than certain institutions, according to research from independent social research consultancy Traverse.

Covid-19 vaccine

The research project, which focused on attitudes to the vaccine, also found that information should be made available to allow people agency to make decisions about whether to take the vaccine.

The research was carried out by Traverse with Healthwatch England and the NHS Health and Race Observatory, and used existing insights from more than 15,000 people about the Covid-19 vaccine programme and in-depth interviews, group discussions and activities with 95 people from African, Bangladeshi, Caribbean and Pakistani backgrounds.

Participants in the interviews, which were run by Traverse, had primarily hesitant attitudes or lacked confidence in Covid-19 vaccines.

Key findings from the research included that targeted campaigns and messages need to avoid making people feel blamed or singled out, and that transparency about the vaccine increased trust.

People were also more likely to trust independent organisations, doctors and scientists about the vaccine.

Jessie Cunnett, head of health and social care at Traverse, said: “With a subject matter as charged and divisive as Covid-19 vaccination uptake, one of the early findings from our research was how fundamental it is that participants can confidently share their views and feelings openly with one another, without fear of judgement.”

Jacob Lant, head of policy and research for Healthwatch England, said: “We wanted to create a safe space for people to come and discuss their views about the vaccine without prejudice.

“It was not about trying to convince people to take the vaccine, but about understanding their questions and using that insight to help government and the NHS adjust the rollout so people feel confident in making the decision that is right for them.”