“It seems impossible that it’s been made so quickly”: a qualitative investigation of concerns about the speed of COVID-19 vaccine development and how these may be overcome


The speed of COVID-19 vaccine development has been identified as a central concern contributing to hesitancy in acceptance. We conducted qualitative interviews to gain a greater understanding into these concerns and to identify what might address them. Twelve qualitative interviews were conducted with participants identifying as hesitant for COVID-19 vaccination and reporting concern about the speed of vaccine development. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used. Concerns about speed comprised the linked themes of i) difficulty understanding the pace, and, ii) worry about the implications for vaccine safety. Uncertainties concerning the pandemic led to a notable desire for credible and understandable information regarding the vaccines, which many participants felt was not available. Four routes to resolving uncertainty about whether to be vaccinated were identified. First, waiting for more information about the vaccines, such as about their contents and impact on transmission. Second, a growing perception that the vaccines must be safe given the large numbers already vaccinated. Third, viewing the vaccines as necessary - even if unappealing - for ending the pandemic. Finally, a feeling that there would be no choice but to have a vaccine. Examples of what might reduce hesitancy were given, including interviews with vaccine developers and knowing others of similar age having safely been vaccinated. The pace of development broke expectations set earlier in the pandemic. This was interpreted negatively due to a perceived lack of credible information. Most participants could envisage ways their concerns could be resolved, enough for them to have a vaccine.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2021.2004808
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Funding: The project was funded by a grant from the University of Oxford COVID19 Research Response Fund [Project Reference: 0009519]. It also received support from the NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. Daniel Freeman is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Felicity Waite is funded by a Wellcome Trust Clinical Doctoral Fellowship [102176/B/13/Z]. The investigators acknowledge the philanthropic support of the donors to the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Research Response Fund.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Covid-19,IPA,Vaccine-hesitancy,qualitative,speed of development,Immunology and Allergy,Immunology,Pharmacology
Publication ISSN: 2164-554X
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 17:28
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 13:11
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 15.2021.2004808 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-02-16
Published Online Date: 2022-02-16
Accepted Date: 2021-11-08
Authors: Brown, Poppy
Waite, Felicity
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)
Lambe, Sinéad
McShane, Helen
Pollard, Andrew J
Freeman, Daniel



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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