Coronavirus warning: 36 percent of UK unlikely to take vaccine due to ‘uncertainty’ factor

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Professor Melinda Mills told Sky News that there are a number of factors that contribute to an unwillingness to take a vaccine and that communication from the Government must start now in order to tackle them. The University of Oxford sociology professor also outlined complacency, convenience and confidence as the three boxes a vaccine needs to tick in order to be appealing. 

Professor Mills said: “A recent survey of people in the UK found that about 36 percent of the people said we are unlikely or uncertain if they will take it.

“So, we must think about the behavioural factors, it is really in unprecedented uncertainty that the vaccine will be released.

“We will have multiple vaccines, this one comes out and it is uncertain what is the duration of the immunity, will it have to be repeated, what are all these different factors?

“That will be really difficult to communicate and we know that people need a few things in order to be willing to take a vaccine.

“The first is that they will be relatively complacent, they will think what are my risks, that has to be clarified.

“It must be really convenient, so just locally around them or at their GP.

“They must have confidence and trust.”

She added: “This has been developed at warp-speed, things that usually take one decade have been developed in a very limited time.

“We really must start talking to people and communicating with them about the uncertainty.

“We must start that communication now.”

On Monday, the UK’s Prime Minister said Britain is at the front of the queue for coronavirus vaccinations.


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Boris Johnson told the coronavirus press briefing: “If and when this vaccine is approved we in this country will be ready to start using it.

“Earlier this year the UK Government ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccination; enough for about a third of the population since you need two doses each.

“That puts us towards the front of the international pack per capita basis.

“I should add that we’ve ordered over 300 million doses from five other vaccine candidates as well.”

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