Approximately 10% of UK adults say they will never get vaccinated against COVID-19 or will avoid doing so for as long as possible. Scientists call this group the “vaccine hesitant”, though hesitancy may not seem the right term to describe views often held with clear conviction. People who are vaccine hesitant have often thought long and hard about whether to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
How can such views be shifted? Ideally, one would sit down with people, listen and discuss. In reality, public health campaigners have only mass messaging at their disposal: information disseminated through billboards, TV slots and social media. These are crude tools for tackling sometimes deeply ingrained personal beliefs. What messages delivered through them might really make a difference?
Oxford is a subscribing member of The Conversation. Find out how you can write for The Conversation.