The reluctance of people to get vaccinated represents a fundamental challenge to containing the spread of deadly infectious diseases(1,2), including COVID-19. Identifying misperceptions that can fuel vaccine hesitancy and creating effective communication strategies to overcome them are a global public health priority(3-5). Medical doctors are a trusted source of advice about vaccinations(6), but media reports may create an inaccurate impression that vaccine controversy is prevalent among doctors, even when a broad consensus exists(7,8). Here we show that public misperceptions about the views of doctors on the COVID-19 vaccines are widespread, and correcting them increases vaccine uptake. We implement a survey among 9,650 doctors in the Czech Republic and find that 90% of doctors trust the vaccines. Next, we show that 90% of respondents in a nationally representative sample (n = 2,101) underestimate doctors' trust; the most common belief is that only 50% of doctors trust the vaccines. Finally, we integrate randomized provision of information about the true views held by doctors into a longitudinal data collection that regularly monitors vaccination status over 9 months. The treatment recalibrates beliefs and leads to a persistent increase in vaccine uptake. The approach demonstrated in this paper shows how the engagement of professional medical associations, with their unparalleled capacity to elicit individual views of doctors on a large scale, can help to create a cheap, scalable intervention that has lasting positive impacts on health behaviour.

Communicating doctors’ consensus persistently increases COVID-19 vaccinationsIn: NATURE. - ISSN 0028-0836. - 606:7914(2022 Jun 16), pp. 542-549. [10.1038/s41586-022-04805-y]

Communicating doctors’ consensus persistently increases COVID-19 vaccinations

V. Bartos
Primo
;
2022-06-16

Abstract

The reluctance of people to get vaccinated represents a fundamental challenge to containing the spread of deadly infectious diseases(1,2), including COVID-19. Identifying misperceptions that can fuel vaccine hesitancy and creating effective communication strategies to overcome them are a global public health priority(3-5). Medical doctors are a trusted source of advice about vaccinations(6), but media reports may create an inaccurate impression that vaccine controversy is prevalent among doctors, even when a broad consensus exists(7,8). Here we show that public misperceptions about the views of doctors on the COVID-19 vaccines are widespread, and correcting them increases vaccine uptake. We implement a survey among 9,650 doctors in the Czech Republic and find that 90% of doctors trust the vaccines. Next, we show that 90% of respondents in a nationally representative sample (n = 2,101) underestimate doctors' trust; the most common belief is that only 50% of doctors trust the vaccines. Finally, we integrate randomized provision of information about the true views held by doctors into a longitudinal data collection that regularly monitors vaccination status over 9 months. The treatment recalibrates beliefs and leads to a persistent increase in vaccine uptake. The approach demonstrated in this paper shows how the engagement of professional medical associations, with their unparalleled capacity to elicit individual views of doctors on a large scale, can help to create a cheap, scalable intervention that has lasting positive impacts on health behaviour.
Settore SECS-P/01 - Economia Politica
1-giu-2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/930008
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