Smith, LE, Sim, J, Amlôt, R, Cutts, M, Dasch, H, Sevdalis, N, Rubin, GJ and Sherman, S (2022) Side-effect expectations from COVID-19 vaccination: findings from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey (CoVAccS – wave 2). Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 152 (110679). ISSN 0022-3999

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Objectives: Concern about side effects is one of the most common reasons for refusing vaccination. Side-effect expectations are also known to predict perception of side effects. We aimed to investigate the percentage of people who thought side effects from COVID-19 vaccination were likely and investigate factors associated with side-effect expectation. Methods: Online cross-sectional survey of 1470 UK adults who had not been vaccinated for COVID-19 (conducted 13 to 15 January 2021). We asked participants how likely they thought side effects from COVID-19 vaccination were. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate associations with side-effect expectations. Results: Most participants were uncertain whether they would experience side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine; only a minority reported that side effects were very likely (9.4%, 95% CI 7.9% to 10.9%, n=138/1470). Personal and clinical characteristics, general, and COVID-19 vaccination beliefs and attitudes explained 29.7% of the variance in side-effect expectation, with COVID-19 vaccination beliefs alone accounting for 17.2%. Side-effect expectations were associated with: older age, being clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, being afraid of needles, lower perceived social norms for COVID-19 vaccination, lower perceived necessity and safety of COVID-19 vaccination, and perceived lack of information about COVID-19 and vaccination. Conclusions: Side-effect expectation was associated with believing that COVID-19 vaccination was unsafe, ineffective and that others would be less likely to approve of you having a COVID-19 vaccination. Communications should emphasise the safety, effectiveness, and widespread uptake of vaccination, while promoting accurate perceptions of the incidence of vaccination side effects.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The accepted version of this accepted manuscript and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adverse effects; COVID-19; Expectation; Nocebo effect; Vaccination
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 10:28
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2022 01:30

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