According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (www.thl.fi) most parents allow their children to get vaccinated with the vaccines included in the national immunization programme. Previous studies, however, show that people may feel hesitant towards vaccines despite choosing to get vaccinated. How strong the hesitancy is and what the reasons behind the hesitancy are, vary between individuals.
The aim of the subproject in psychology, is to empirically investigate to which degree vaccine hesitancy exists in different populations in Finland, and to study possible reasons behind vaccine hesitancy. Better knowledge about the factors that affect the parents’ vaccine attitudes help developing vaccine-related communication between healthcare professionals and patients. In our research, we focus on childhood vaccines, influenza vaccines, and since March 2020, also on the coronavirus vaccine. Our results show that the main factors behind vaccine hesitancy are a worry about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and a lower trust in authorities and health care professionals. The research is done in collaboration with University of Turku, Åbo Akademi University, and University of Bristol.
Leader of the Psychology research group in VaccAtt, PhD, Adjunct Professor in Psychology, Academy Research Fellow, University of Turku.
PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University.