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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

We mobilise people and resources to create, curate, make sense of and use knowledge to inform policymaking across Europe.

Projects and activities | Last updated: 15 May 2023

A behavioural study on vaccination acceptance and demand


Vaccination is one of the most powerful and cost-effective public health measures in the modern world and remains the main tool for primary prevention of communicable diseases. Yet, despite these benefits, some people hold negative attitudes toward vaccination. This can lead them to delay getting vaccinated, or sometimes refuse it altogether, either for themselves or their children, despite the widespread availability of vaccination services.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the scrutiny around vaccine side effects, testing, and monitoring, as well as the importance of effective communication and public engagement strategies to promote vaccine acceptance and uptake, particularly in the face of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation during a time of global crisis.


The overall purpose of this study was to understand the behavioural determinants of anti-vaccination attitudes and propose behaviourally informed tools to improve people's acceptance and increase vaccination rates. The scope of the study was expanded to encompass the evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.


To do so, we conducted literature reviews and a set of online surveys with the general population, with parents and with health care providers.

Expected outcomes

The study's results provided policymakers with valuable insights that could be used to achieve the EU's 2018 recommendation of improving vaccination coverage. Moreover, the study's impact has gone beyond its original scope, as it has generated spill over research programs that are currently ongoing, thereby contributing to a broader research agenda, with the ultimate goal of informing effective public health policies and interventions.