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Assessing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, Confidence and Public Engagement: A Global Social Listening Study

20 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2021

See all articles by Zhiyuan Hou

Zhiyuan Hou

Fudan University - School of Public Health

Yixin Tong

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Fanxing Du

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Linyao Lu

Fudan University - NHC Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Sihong Zhao

Fudan University - NHC Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Kexin Yu

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Simon J. Piatek

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Heidi J. Larson

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Leesa Lin

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

More...

Abstract

Background: To assess global hesitancy, confidence and public engagement towards COVID-19 vaccination.

Methods: We collected and manually coded 12886 social media posts mentioning COVID-19 vaccine from five global metropolises with high COVID-19 burden between June and July, 2020. After assessment, 7032 posts were included in analysis. We manually double-coded these posts using a coding framework developed according to the WHO’s Confidence, Complacency, and Convenience model of vaccine hesitancy, and conducted engagement analysis to investigate public communication about COVID-19 vaccine on social media.

Findings: Among social media users, 36.4% (571/1568) in New York, 51.3% (738/1440) in London, 67.3% (144/214) in Sao Paulo, 69.8% (726/1040) in Mumbai, and 76.8% (2128/2770) in Beijing indicated that they intended to accept COVID-19 vaccination. With high perceived risk of getting COVID-19, more tweeters in New York and London expressed lack of confidence in vaccine safety, distrust in governments and experts, and widespread misinformation and rumors. Tweeters from Mumbai, Sao Paulo and Beijing worried more about vaccine production and supply, whereas tweeters from New York and London had more concern on vaccine distribution and inequity. Negative tweets expressing lack of vaccine confidence and misinformation or rumors, had more followers and attracted more public engagement online.

Interpretation: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is prevalent across the world, and negative tweets attract higher engagement on social media. It is urgent to develop an effective vaccine campaign that boosts public confidence and addresses hesitancy for COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71874034).

Declaration of Interests: We declare no competing interests.

Ethics Approval Statement: This study was exempt from ethical review because it examined retrospective, publicly-available data.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine, hesitancy, confidence, acceptance, engagement.

Suggested Citation

Hou, Zhiyuan and Tong, Yixin and Du, Fanxing and Lu, Linyao and Zhao, Sihong and Yu, Kexin and Piatek, Simon J. and Larson, Heidi J. and Lin, Leesa, Assessing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy, Confidence and Public Engagement: A Global Social Listening Study. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3775544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3775544

Zhiyuan Hou (Contact Author)

Fudan University - School of Public Health ( email )

Shanghai
China

Yixin Tong

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

China

Fanxing Du

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Shanghai
China

Linyao Lu

Fudan University - NHC Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China

Sihong Zhao

Fudan University - NHC Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

Beijing West District Baiyun Load 10th
Shanghai, 100045
China

Kexin Yu

Fudan University - Key Laboratory of Health Technology Assessment

China

Simon J. Piatek

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

London
United Kingdom

Heidi J. Larson

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology ( email )

Leesa Lin

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

United Kingdom

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