What do people without a healthcare qualification think are the advantages and disadvantages of COVID-19 vaccination? A European research protocol from the EGPRN Fellows

Maria Zafirovska, Aleksandar Zafirovski, Jelena Danilenko, Kristien Coteur, Michael Harris (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The invention of vaccines was a breakthrough in the prevention of infectious diseases. Vaccination has helped to eradicate smallpox and greatly reduced the number of many other communicable diseases. Increasing knowledge on our immune response mechanisms has led to new, more complex, vaccine possibilities. However, concerns about safety and efficacy are the primary reason for vaccination refusal. Other factors, from opinions reported by mass media and spokespeople to religious and personal beliefs, have also been found to influence public opinion. Some of the general public’s views on COVID-19 vaccination have alarmed healthcare professionals since pharmaceutical companies started competing to design an effective vaccine. Currently, 118 vaccine candidates exist, of which 15 have been approved by at least one country. While we know that safety and efficacy concerns play a prominent role in COVID-19 vaccination refusal, little more is known about the general public’s beliefs about the vaccine’s advantages and disadvantages, or where these views come from.

Research questions:
What do individuals without a healthcare qualification believe are the advantages and disadvantages of COVID-19 vaccination?

This mixed-methods study will use a survey with both open- and closed-ended questions. The questions will cover demographic data, information on whether participants have been or plan to get vaccinated, their opinions on vaccines in general and COVID-19 vaccines specifically, and the factors that influence these. The target population is adults without a healthcare qualification in Belgium, Latvia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.

We will present the study protocol and the findings of the pilot study. Any preliminary results will also be presented.

This study will give new insights into the public’s opinions on COVID-19 vaccination. Understanding individuals' viewpoints and the factors that influence them will help us to create strategies to maximise vaccine uptake.

Points for discussion:
What opinions on COVID-19 vaccination have you heard from individuals without healthcare qualifications?

What framework would you recommend for analysis of the qualitative data?

Would the results from this study be helpful in your own country, and would you like to collaborate in this research?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event93rd European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) Meeting - Halle, Germany
Duration: 14 Oct 202117 Oct 2021
Conference number: 93


Meeting93rd European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN) Meeting
Abbreviated titleEGPRN 2021
Internet address


  • COVID-19
  • Vaccines
  • Opinions

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


Dive into the research topics of 'What do people without a healthcare qualification think are the advantages and disadvantages of COVID-19 vaccination? A European research protocol from the EGPRN Fellows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this