In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its subsequent designation as a pandemic, vaccines against the virus were developed and gradually rolled out throughout the world (WHO, 2022). This article focuses upon the emergence of vaccine hesitancy and the likelihood of vaccination, specifically in the context of COVID-19. It is shown that vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon but rather has been manifested to varying degrees since the advent of variolation in Europe in the 18th century. It is within this historical context that the concept of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy should be regarded. The concept of vaccine hesitancy, introduced in order to understand why some people might potentially reject vaccines with the capacity to prevent or reduce the risk of preventable infection, is examined through a social psychological lens. Given its complexity and the inconsistent relationship between attitudes (e.g., vaccination hesitancy) and behavior (e.g., the likelihood that one will actually get vaccinated) (Marcinkowski & Reid, 2019), it is argued that a focus on vaccination likelihood (as a more reliable indicator of whether or not people will get vaccinated) is especially valuable (see Breakwell, Fino & Jaspal, 2021). Vaccination likelihood emerges as a result of many factors operating at distinct levels of analysis. Accordingly, a social psychological model of vaccine likelihood is presented that can enable both researchers and policymakers to understand its determinants.
|Title of host publication
|The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society
|W.C. Cockerham, J Gabe, S Quah, J.M. Ryan
|Accepted/In press - 2023