Repeated information of benefits reduces COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy: Experimental evidence from Germany
Background Many countries, such as Germany, struggle to vaccinate enough people against COVID-19 despite the availability of safe and efficient vaccines. With new variants emerging and the need for booster vaccinations, overcoming vaccination hesitancy gains importance. The research to date has r...
|Main Authors:||, ,|
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text|
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Many countries, such as Germany, struggle to vaccinate enough people against COVID-19 despite the availability of safe and efficient vaccines. With new variants emerging and the need for booster vaccinations, overcoming vaccination hesitancy gains importance. The research to date has revealed some promising, albeit contentious, interventions to increase vaccination intention. However, these have yet to be tested for their effectiveness in increasing vaccination rates.
Methods & results
We conducted a preregistered survey experiment with N = 1,324 participants in Germany in May/June 2021. This was followed by a series of emails reminding participants to get vaccinated in August and concluded with a follow-up survey in September. We experimentally assess whether debunking vaccination myths, highlighting the benefits of being vaccinated, or sending vaccination reminders decreases hesitancy. In the survey experiment, we find no increase in the intention to vaccinate regardless of the information provided. However, communicating vaccination benefits over several weeks reduced the likelihood of not being vaccinated by 9 percentage points, which translates into a 27% reduction compared to the control group. Debunking vaccination myths and reminders alone also decreased the likelihood, yet not significantly.
Our findings suggest that if soft governmental interventions such as information campaigns are employed, highlighting benefits should be given preference over debunking vaccination myths. Furthermore, it seems that repeated messages affect vaccination action while one-time messages might be insufficient, even for increasing vaccination intentions. Our study highlights the importance of testing interventions outside of survey experiments that are limited to measuring vaccination intentions—not actions—and immediate changes in attitudes and intentions—not long-term changes.|
|Item Description:||Gefördert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der UB Marburg.|
|Physical Description:||23 Pages|