Resistance to COVID-19 vaccination has increased in Ireland and the United Kingdom during the pandemic

P. Hyland, F. Vallières, M. Shevlin, R.P. Bentall, R. McKay, T.K. Hartman, O. McBride, J. Murphy

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Objectives: Hesitance and resistance to COVID-19 vaccination poses a serious challenge to achieving adequate vaccine uptake in the general population. Cross-sectional data from the early months of the pandemic indicates that approximately one-third of adults in multiple nations are hesitant or resistant to a vaccine for COVID-19. Using longitudinal data, we tracked changes in attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination during the pandemic. Study design: This is a quantitative, longitudinal design. Method: Nationally representative samples of the adult general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1041) and the United Kingdom (N = 2025) were assessed for their attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination at three points from March to August 2020. Results: Statistically significant increases in resistance to COVID-19 vaccination were observed in Irish (from 9.5% to 18.1%) and British (from 6.2% to 10%) adults. Conclusion: Resistance to vaccination has significantly increased in two European nations as the pandemic has progressed. Growing resistance to COVID-19 vaccination will pose a challenge to public health officials responsible for ensuring sufficient vaccine coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-56
Number of pages3
JournalPublic Health
Early online date27 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage
  • COVID-19/prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics/prevention & control
  • Public Health
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United Kingdom
  • Vaccination Refusal
  • Vaccination/psychology


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