Barriers and facilitators to the future uptake of regular COVID-19 booster vaccinations among young adults in the UK

Williams, Lynn and Gallant, Allyson and Brown, Lily and Corrigan, Kathleen and Crowe, Katrina and Hendry, Emma (2022) Barriers and facilitators to the future uptake of regular COVID-19 booster vaccinations among young adults in the UK. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 18 (6). 2129238. ISSN 2164-554X (

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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 toward 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, and 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 emphasizing the positive vaccine benefits relating to the individual’s health and the maintenance of their regular work and social activities.