Vaccine hesitancy linked to lack of knowledge, according to new study 4 months ago

Vaccine hesitancy linked to lack of knowledge, according to new study

The new study was funded by the Department of Health.

A new study, funded by the Department of Health, has suggested a link between vaccine hesitancy and a lack of knowledge.


People who are less likely to follow news coverage about Covid-19 are more likely to be vaccine-hesitant, the study suggests.

The Economic and Social Research Institute's (ESRI) Behavioural Research Unit found a link between a reluctance to take a vaccine and a lack of knowledge and awareness of its benefits.

The study conducted a knowledge test and survey of attitudes among a nationally representative scale sample of the Irish population back in January 2021.

It found that the less people followed news coverage about Covid-19, the less likely they were to want to receive the jab.

The working paper, A Lack of Perceived Benefits and a Gap in Knowledge Distinguish the Vaccine Hesitant from Vaccine Accepting during the Covid-19 Pandemic, was published on Thursday.

Participants in the study completed a multiple-choice quiz designed to gauge what they think about the vaccine, how much they know about it, what they see as the greatest risks and benefits, and if they plan to take it.

The quiz asked questions on what they knew about the effectiveness, development and possible side effects of the jab.


The study found that the minority of participants planning not to take the vaccine scored substantially worse on the quiz than the majority planning to take it.

Those planning to take the vaccine got an average score of 67%, compared with 50% for those who were unsure and just 37% for those planning not to take it.

“These results suggest that some people who are unsure about taking the Covid-19 vaccine may not know enough about it,” said Dr. Deirdre Robertson, lead researcher on the study.

“The results suggest that providing factual information about how the vaccine was developed and tested, and the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines at preventing illness, may bridge this gap in knowledge.”