The evidence of waning immunity offered by COVID-19 vaccines suggests that widespread and regular uptake of routine COVID-19 booster vaccines will be needed. In order to understand the hesitancy towards COVID-19 boosters, we examined the barriers and facilitators to receiving regular COVID-19 boosters in a sample of young adults in the UK. A cross-sectional survey was completed by 423 participants (M=22.8; SD = 8.6 years) and assessed intention to receive regular COVID-19 boosters, the 7C antecedents of vaccination (i.e., confidence, complacency, constraints, calculation, collective responsibility, compliance and conspiracy), and any previous experience of side-effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Participants also provided a free text qualitative response outlining their barriers and facilitators to receiving regular COVID-19 boosters. Overall, 42.8% of the sample were hesitant about receiving regular COVID-19 boosters. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that intention to accept future boosters was associated with having higher levels of confidence in, and compliance with, vaccines, lower levels of complacency, calculation and perceptions of constraints to vaccination, and having experienced less severe side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines. Qualitative responses highlighted the main barriers included experiencing side effects with previous COVID-19 vaccines and inaccessibility of vaccination services. Key facilitators included protecting the health of friends and family members, protecting personal health, and maintaining regular activities. Our findings suggest that interventions targeted at increasing booster uptake should address the experience of side effects while also emphasising the positive vaccine benefits relating to the individual’s health and the maintenance of their regular work and social activities.


© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Cite as

Williams, L., Gallant, A., Brown, L., Corrigan, K., Crowe, K. & Hendry, E. 2022, 'Barriers and facilitators to the future uptake of regular COVID-19 booster vaccinations among young adults in the UK', Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. https://doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2022.2129238

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Last updated: 07 October 2022
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