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

Philip Hyland, Frederique Vallieres, M Shevlin, Richard Bentall, Ryan McKay, Todd K Hartman, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


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: A quantitative, longitudinal design.
Method: Nationally representative samples of the adult general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) and the United Kingdom (N = 2,025) 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 (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 (in print/issue) - 30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ( ES/V004379/1 ) to R.P.B.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


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


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