Study says COVID-19 vaccine passports are likely to reduce vaccine adoption propensity to reduce
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has largely disrupted travel and participation in social gatherings due to the high transmission rate of the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen.
As a result of the vaccination programs, it was proposed to introduce a vaccine-proof policy, either through an electronic or physical vaccination card, to allow freedom of movement and participation in social events.
Vaccination cards have recently been discussed in the United Kingdom, particularly for use in non-medical settings such as restaurants, pubs and sporting events where social distancing can be difficult.
Vaccination passports are intended to accelerate the reopening of international travel and stimulate tourism, which has been severely affected by the travel ban. However, they were a controversial topic.
However, some people are against the idea of requiring vaccinations, arguing that it would limit travel for those who choose not to get vaccinated.
Since the current data shows that vaccinated individuals could become re-infected with SARS-CoV-2, the latter group also believes that this guideline may restrict healthy, uninfected, or immunized individuals from social events and national or international travel.
Routine vaccination also depends heavily on sociodemographic factors. An early report from the UK suggests that gender and ethnicity are linked to lower vaccination rates. For example, non-whites, black Africans, blacks from the Caribbean and British Muslims are among the lower vaccinated groups.
A recent survey found that vaccination records are receiving maximum support in the UK, particularly with regard to regularizing international travel.
A new study published on the preprint server medRxiv * is now concentrating on the quantitative assessment of the effects of introducing vaccination records for national and international travel.
This study examines whether vaccine passports are likely to encourage or discourage the use of COVID-19 vaccines in people who have not yet received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Researchers have calculated the overall impact of introducing vaccination passports on overall vaccination intent. In addition, the different influence of vaccine passports on the intention to be admitted between socio-demographic groups was determined.
Basic intention to accept a COVID-19 vaccine
The study used a large-scale national survey of 17,611 adults residing in the UK. The survey was carried out for the period from April 9th to April 27th, 2021.
The researchers used Bayesian multilevel regression and poststratification to impartially assess the willingness of all participants to be vaccinated based on the introduction of vaccination records.
Gibb’s sampling was used for Bayesian model inference, with 95% highest posterior density intervals for unbiased estimates. None of the study participants received two doses of the vaccine. In addition, tiered regression analysis was used to identify the different effects of passports on vaccination between socio-demographic groups and different regions in the UK.
This study highlighted that vaccination passports or certificates are less popular among certain socio-demographic groups such as non-whites, Black Africans, Black Caribbean and British Muslims, which poses the risk of a divided society.
With reluctance to get vaccinated, there is still a chance the epidemic could spread. If this group refuses to be vaccinated even after persuasion, the researchers say, the vaccination rate should be increased in their neighboring areas in order to achieve herd immunity.
Researchers have observed that the group of participants who expressed doubts about vaccination remained unchanged in their views. After the introduction of vaccination records, they showed a lower propensity to vaccinate.
In addition, UK health and social workers said the actual turnaround had decreased as people felt pressured to get vaccinated.
The survey also found that most women, professionals, and college graduates were less likely to vaccinate if vaccination records were introduced for home use.
The authors of the study stated that there are no specific reasons that explain the difference in vaccination readiness. However, a feeling for new and unfamiliar scientific phenomena can account for this aversion.
This survey found that general willingness to get vaccinated increased across the UK after the vaccination program began. However, the impact on vaccination after the introduction of vaccination passports was not clear.
Current research has a strong impact on UK vaccine certification policy. The survey report will also help other countries, including the European Union, accelerate free movement within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One limitation of this study is that the participants submitted their own reports, and the researchers believe that the participants often overstate their intentions because of government, media, or health care professionals influencing them.
medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and therefore are not considered conclusive, guide clinical practice / health-related behavior, or should be treated as established information.