Article Text

Original research
Correlates of intended COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across time and countries: results from a series of cross-sectional surveys
  1. John R Kerr1,2,
  2. Claudia R Schneider1,2,
  3. Gabriel Recchia1,
  4. Sarah Dryhurst1,
  5. Ullrika Sahlin3,
  6. Carole Dufouil4,5,
  7. Pierre Arwidson6,
  8. Alexandra LJ Freeman1,
  9. Sander van der Linden2
  1. 1Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  3. 3Center of Environmental and Climate Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  4. 4Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, U1219, Inserm, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  5. 5Pole de Sante Publique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  6. 6Direction de la prévention - promotion de la santé, Santé publique France, Saint-Maurice, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr John R Kerr; jk802{at}


Objective Describe demographical, social and psychological correlates of willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Setting Series of online surveys undertaken between March and October 2020.

Participants A total of 25 separate national samples (matched to country population by age and sex) in 12 different countries were recruited through online panel providers (n=25 334).

Primary outcome measures Reported willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Results Reported willingness to receive a vaccine varied widely across samples, ranging from 63% to 88%. Multivariate logistic regression analyses reveal sex (female OR=0.59, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.64), trust in medical and scientific experts (OR=1.28, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.34) and worry about the COVID-19 virus (OR=1.47, 95% CI 1.41 to 1.53) as the strongest correlates of stated vaccine acceptance considering pooled data and the most consistent correlates across countries. In a subset of UK samples, we show that these effects are robust after controlling for attitudes towards vaccination in general.

Conclusions Our results indicate that the burden of trust largely rests on the shoulders of the scientific and medical community, with implications for how future COVID-19 vaccination information should be communicated to maximise uptake.

  • COVID-19
  • public health
  • preventive medicine

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open-access repository. The data and analysis code for this study are available at

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open-access repository. The data and analysis code for this study are available at

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  • Contributors Survey instrument development: JRK, CRS, GR, SD, SvdL and AF. Study conceptualisation, design and theoretical framing: JRK, SvdL and AF. Data collection: JRK, CRS, GR, SD, US, CD, PA and AF. Statistical analyses and first draft: JRK, SvdL and AF. Manuscript editing, review and approval: JRK, CRS, GR, SD, US, CD, PA, AF and SvdL.

  • Funding This study was funded by the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, which is supported by the David and Claudia Harding Foundation. Award/grant number is not applicable.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.