Resistance to COVID-19 vaccination has increased in Ireland and the UK during the pandemic

Philip Hyland, Frédérique Vallières, Mark Shevlin, Richard Bentall, Ryan McKay, Todd K Hartman, Orla McBride, Jamie Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Hesitance and resistance to COVID-19 vaccination poses a serious challenge to achieving adequate vaccine uptake in the general population. Cross-sectional data from the early months of the pandemic indicates that approximately one-third of adults in multiple nations are hesitant or resistant to a vaccine for COVID-19. Using longitudinal data, we tracked changes in attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination during the pandemic.

Study Design

A quantitative, longitudinal design.


Nationally representative samples of the adult general population of the Republic of Ireland (N = 1,041) and the United Kingdom (N = 2,025) were assessed for their attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination at three points from March to August 2020.


Statistically significant increases in resistance to COVID-19 vaccination were observed in Irish (from 9.5% to 18.1%) and British (6.2% to 10%) adults.


Resistance to vaccination has significantly increased in two European nations as the pandemic has progressed. Growing resistance to COVID-19 vaccination will pose a challenge to public health officials responsible for ensuring sufficient vaccine coverage.

KeywordsCOVID-19 vaccinevaccine resistancevaccine hesitance

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-56
JournalPublic Health
Early online date27 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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