Research teams at Brown to investigate solutions to nine pressing pandemic challenges

Kristin Konnyu, Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice; Co-PI: Lauren Bohlen, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences have been awarded a 2022 Peter G. Peterson Foundation Pandemic Response Policy Research Fund.

Using a Behavioral Science Lens to Understand the Determinants of Individuals’ Willingness to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19: A Living Systematic Review

Background: Vaccine hesitancy remains an important obstacle to pandemic control. Understanding determinants of willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine is foundational to designing effective interventions to increase vaccine uptake. Globally, hundreds of studies have emerged to understand individuals’ willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Robust and ongoing synthesis of this research is needed to inform stakeholders’ present and future pandemic responses. 

Methods: We will expand an ongoing review of studies of individuals’ willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 – currently a small, fit-for-purpose product for governmental stakeholders – to produce a generalizable synthesis for wider stakeholder audiences. We will search bibliographic databases from November 2020 (authorization of COVID-19 vaccines in the US) to present. All studies reporting determinants of COVID-19 vaccine willingness will be eligible. We will extract data on study and population characteristics, proportion of participants willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and barriers and enablers associated with willingness. We will characterize determinants using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and synthesize themes within determinants. We will map identified determinants to potential intervention strategies and policy functions and apply an intersectionality lens to identify potential ways these intervention strategies and policy functions may be tailored to account for individuals’ unique combinations of psychological, social, and geographical characteristics. 

Significance: A vast amount of literature has emerged to understand vaccine hesitancy. Timely and robust systematic synthesis of this evidence using behavior change frameworks will help parse this complex phenomenon in a way that permits development of targeted interventions to promote vaccine uptake.