Health and social care workers (HSCWs) have an essential role in the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination is an emotionally charged issue and perceptions of risk associated with COVID19 can contribute towards vaccine hesitancy (VH). The aim of this study was to explore the role of emotion and risk perception associated with HSCWs' uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine during the initial mass roll-out of the vaccine in Scotland. A cross-sectional online survey with a correlational design was used. An online survey was conducted with HSCWs (N = 1189) aged 18 to 67 years (M = 44.09 yrs, SD = 11.48) working in Scotland during the third lockdown period (December 26th – March 31st 2021) of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey collected data relating to sociodemographic characteristics, vaccine uptake and VH, emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and risk perception. Open-ended free text data were also collected on HSCWs’ main reasons for VH. Most participants (83.96%) felt positively about the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine, stating it would be beneficial for themselves and others to receive it. Nonetheless, 16.04% of HSCWs expressed VH. Occupational group, age, gender and risk perceptions did not affect variance in VH, but positive emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine and years of experience did. We emphasise the importance of future interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake by enhancing positive emotions and reducing ambivalent emotions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine particularly among less experienced HSCWs.


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Cite as

Cogan, N., McInnes, L., Lingg, V., Rasmussen, S., Flowers, P. & Williams, L. 2022, 'COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among health and social care workers during mass vaccination in Scotland', Psychology, Health and Medicine. https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/82189/

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Last updated: 05 September 2022
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