Strategies to build trust and COVID-19 vaccine confidence and engagement among minority groups in Scotland

Josephine Adekola, Denis Fischbacher-Smith, Thelma Okey-Adibe, Jamila Audu

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Abstract

As countries continue to deal with the global COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, policymakers recognize that science, technology, and innovation (STI) practices offer a means of addressing many of the health problems that arise from the ongoing pandemic. Such recognition has given rise to many STI policy initiatives across various areas of science and policy, leading to a better understanding of coronavirus and the development of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. However, the practical implementation of vaccine and treatment strategies within local communities extends well beyond the laboratory. This study explored how misinformation and trust amplify or attenuate coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine perceptions of those from ethnic minority groups deemed more susceptible to the impacts of the virus. Primary data in this study were collected in Scotland through semistructured interviews with 26 expert and nonexpert members from Scotland’s minority ethnic communities. The study findings show that risk perception is fluid and dependent on the information and evidential environment in which people find themselves. Misinformation, fake news, conspiracies, and trust or distrust (from prior experiences and historic practices) influence the perception of coronavirus and how risk messages are received, including the acceptance of coronavirus vaccines. This article reflects on Scotland’s approach to building trust and COVID-19 vaccine confidence and engagement based on the findings of this study, identifying areas of strength and areas for further improvement or research. The authors believe, as shown by our research, that vaccine engagement will be more impactful if developed by and with the public, and reflects public values, concerns, and priorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-902
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Science
Volume13
Early online date12 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Vaccine engagment
  • Trust building
  • Minority group engagement
  • Science innovation
  • Scotland

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