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Covid, Health

Optimising vaccination uptake for Covid-19

The target behaviour for this guidance document is getting the recommended dose(s) of the Covid-19 vaccination

20 April 2021

Focusing on vaccine hesitancy could mean we are missing an opportunity to maximise uptake by better understanding people’s capability, opportunity and motivation to get the Covid-19 vaccination, say psychologists.

After reviewing the factors that can influence people’s responses to messages about vaccination uptake, the BPS' Behavioural Science and Disease Prevention Taskforce has identified six key principles to optimise public health efforts to reach all communities and promote vaccination equity across the whole population.

  • Understanding – people will be more likely to get the vaccination if they understand the safety of the vaccine, the benefits to themselves, their communities, any potential side effects and what they need to do post-vaccination
  • Personalise – people need to receive messages which are personalised to their needs, for example in certain languages and via accessible mediums
  • Trust – dispelling misinformation is vital, messages need to state the facts and be delivered by trusted members of the community
  • Address barriers to access – practical as well as psychological barriers need to be addressed.  For instance, vaccination centres should be accessible within local communities
  • Keep it brief – avoid jargon and keep messages clear
  • Evidence of effectiveness – showcase the evidence for how well the vaccination works, and the benefit of getting the vaccination for not just themselves but loved ones and society as a whole

Download the guideline