Trust, conspiracy beliefs and social media in vaccine hesitancy

3 June 2021

This paper, co-authored by Professorial Fellow Melinda Mills, looks at the links between trust, conspiracy beliefs, social media, and vaccine hesitancy.

It uses a survey of UK adults from 12 to 18 December 2020 and five focus groups to find that distrust is a core predictor of vaccine hesitancy. Those who obtain information about COVID-19 from unregulated social media sources – such as YouTube – and who hold general conspiratorial beliefs are also less willing to be vaccinated.

The paper was featured in a news story on the University's website ('Low trust in government, conspiracy beliefs and watching YouTube predicts vaccine hesitancy', 3 June 2021).​

(Will Jennings et al., and Melinda Mills, ‘Lack of Trust, Conspiracy Beliefs, and Social Media Use Predict COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy’. Published in Vaccines 9(6):593, doi: 10.3390/vaccines9060593)