The British Academy publishes reports examining COVID vaccine engagement in UK and USA
10 May 2022
The British Academy has today published 10 in-depth transatlantic reports exploring COVID-19 vaccine engagement in the UK and the US.
Awarded by the British Academy, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Science & Innovation Network in the USA (SIN USA) and funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the 10 research projects examine various aspects of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and engagement in the UK and US.
The projects include analyses of specific regional differences within the two countries, the factors influencing engagement with the vaccine – for instance, the influence of exposure to anti-vax protests or the effect of historic racial health inequalities – and the different ways that attitudes towards the vaccine are communicated and addressed.
The Academy has also published a policy and summary synthesis for policymakers, public health professionals, community leaders and other stakeholders that outlines insights and ideas from across the research projects across five themes:
- Accessibility of vaccines
- Patterns of vaccine hesitancy
- Addressing historical injustices and structural vulnerabilities
- Building trust and trustworthiness
- Engagement across different audiences.
The research projects were funded under the research programme ‘COVID-19 Recovery: building future
pandemic preparedness and understanding citizen engagement in the USA and UK’, and build on the work of a pilot study exploring levels of vaccine engagement in four locations: Oldham and Tower Hamlets in the UK, and the cities of Boston and Hartford in the US.
Professor Simon Goldhill FBA, Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, said:
“This timely collection of studies will help policymakers better understand the many challenges to community confidence and COVID-19 vaccine engagement. On behalf of the British Academy, I would like to thank the SSRC and SIN-USA for our partnership and the scholars themselves for undertaking and delivering such fascinating and robust research in such short time.”
Professor Anna Harvey, President of the Social Science Research Council, said:
“SSRC is particularly pleased, through this partnership, to support a rich and diverse set of research projects, drawing on all the methodological strengths offered by the social and behavioural sciences. These findings showcase how research can speak to urgent and complex social questions, such as the intersection of vaccine confidence, inequality, and building public trust, offering significant potential to be mobilised by policymakers for the public good.”
Dame Karen Pierce DCMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the USA, said:
“Understanding vaccine engagement is crucial to the future of global pandemic preparedness, and I am delighted to see the excellent research published this week by the British Academy. This important work will help our communities and public officials better prepare for future global health events. I am grateful to the exceptional British and American researchers whose ground-breaking studies have provided new insights into this key public health question, showcasing the important collaboration happening between the UK and the US to combat COVID.”
The full list of reports is:
- ‘Mapping and Visualising Intersections of Social Inequalities, Community Mistrust, and Vaccine
Hesitancy in Online and Physical Spaces in the UK and US’ – Dr Ozge Ozduzen, University of Sheffield; Dr Wenwen Dou, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Dr Billur Ozgul, Brunel University London; Dr Nelli Ferenczi, Brunel University London
- ‘Evaluating the Influence of Exposure to Anti-vax Protests on Vaccine Hesitancy Across Diverse
Audiences’ – Dr Reed Wood, University of Essex; Marie Juanchich, University of Essex; Dr Mark Ramirez, Arizona State University
- ‘Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy Amongst Frontline Workers – The Influence of Trade Union and
Community Representatives’ – Professor Sian Moore, University of Greenwich; Dr Eklou Amendah, University of Southern Maine; Dr Calvin Burns, University of Greenwich; Professor Christina Clamp, Southern New Hampshire University
- ‘Youth Participatory Action Research to Explore the Context of Ethnic Minority Youth Responses to
COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States and United Kingdom’ – Dr Megan Schmidt-Sane, Institute of Development Studies; Dr Elizabeth Benninger, Case Western Reserve University; Ms Tabitha Hrynick, Institute of Development Studies; Dr Santiago Ripoll, Institute of Development Studies
- ‘Identifying the Trustworthiness of Information Sources During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Enhancing Information Reception Across the Population’ – Dr Ben Seyd, University of Kent; Dr Joseph A Hamm, Michigan State University; Professor Will Jennings, University of Southampton
- ‘COVID and the Coalfield: Vaccine Hesitance in Wales and Appalachia’ – Dr Christopher Saville, Bangor University; Professor Daniel Rhys Thomas, Public Health Wales; Dr April Young, University of Kentucky
- ‘Securing the Goalposts on Vaccine Hesitancy’ – Professor Silvia Sonderegger, University of Nottingham; Dr Andy Brownback, University of Arkansas; Professor Guillermo Cruces, University of Economics; Dr Seung-Keun, University of Nottingham
- ‘Psychological Influences on Citizen COVID-19 Preventive Behaviours and Vaccine Engagement in
the UK and US with Particular Regard to the Importance of Ethnicity’ – Professor Rusi Jaspal, University of Brighton; Professor Julie Barnett, University of Bath; Professor Daniel Wright, University of Nevada
- ‘Mind the Vaccination Gap: Understanding and Overcoming the Racial/Ethnic Inequalities in
Vaccination Acceptance’ – Marie Juanchich, University of Essex; Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin, University of South Carolina; Dr Tim Chadborn, Public Health England; Dr Cara Lynell Booker, University of Essex
- ‘Overcoming Barriers to Vaccination by Empowering Citizens to Make Deliberate Choices’ – Professor Peter John, King’s College London; Professor Peter Loewen, University of Toronto; Dr Manu Savani, Brunel University London.