Conquering vaccine hesitancy

By Emily Morrison | 13 December 2021

COVID-19 has undoubtedly been polarising. People’s experiences of the pandemic have varied dramatically, as some have benefitted from greater control over their own destiny than others. While some have been able to speak up for what they want and need from their working patterns, and have a say in what their local neighbourhood and services should look like, many have not. Discriminatory structures mean certain vulnerabilities, skills, experiences and losses are valued – while the claims and experiences of others go unheard. These inequalities have shaped the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine.

At the Institute for Community Studies, our latest research, delivered with the US-based Institute for Community Research, is a new UK-USA collaborative study that examines vaccine engagement through the voice and experiences of local leaders involved in its delivery, and highlights the importance of tapping into local knowledge in efforts to improve vaccine take-up. Understanding vaccine hesitancy through communities of place, funded by the British Academy, the Social Science Research Council, and the UK’s Science and Innovation Network in the USA, explores levels of vaccine engagement in four locations: Oldham and Tower Hamlets in the UK, and Boston and Hartford in the USA.

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