Vaccine hesitancy and online misinformation


‘Vaccine Hesitancy and online misinformation consumption and distribution among frontline healthcare workers’ explores the link with vaccine hesitancy and the consumption and distribution of misinformation. This John Fell-funded research will address the ways in which frontline healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors contribute to the sharing of and support for misinformation in relation to COVID-19 vaccines. Given the trust that the public has in healthcare workers, it is crucial that both clinicians and policy makers understand the potential influence and impact that their perspectives might have on public health. This research will enable researchers from diverse subject backgrounds to come together to strengthen our understanding of this phenomenon from the particular perspective of frontline healthcare workers.

The research team will explore COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among frontline and key healthcare workers in the UK, Brazil, Kenya and South Africa – locations where the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is being trialled. In doing so they draw upon academic disciplines including sociology, ethics, social media analysis and history, and use research methods including media analysis, historical investigation, and interviews with frontline healthcare workers. The overarching aim of the project is to provide relevant data that will strengthen both medical research and public health policy, with the expectation that this should be of benefit both to the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out but also the development and delivery of vaccines more broadly. It is led by PI Prof Patricia Kingori with Co-Is Dr Samantha Vanderslott and Dr Sally Frampton.

This research is funded by a grant from the John Fell Fund (ref 0010504).

Research Team:

  • Amina AbubakarProfessor and Director, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University
  • Noémie Déom, Research Assistant, Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab (RREAL), University College London
  • Siphephelo Dlamini, Clinical Research Nursing Manager, Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI)
  • Michelle FernandezHealth Policy Researcher, University of Brasília
  • Sally FramptonHumanities and Healthcare Fellow, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
  • Ethan Friedrich, DPhil Student, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
  • Fiona GroenhoutResearch Projects Coordinator, Ethox Centre, University of Oxford
  • Patricia KingoriProfessor of Global Health Ethics, Ethox Centre, and Investigator, Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford.
  • Sam MartinSenior Research Fellow, RREAL (Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab), University College London
  • Paula LarssonDPhil Student, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
  • Gustavo MattaFull Researcher in Public Health and Coordinator of Zika Social Sciences Network at Fiocruz
  • Neetha MorarSenior Research Manager, HIV and other Infectious Diseases Research Unit (HIDRU), South African Medical Research Council
  • Nothando Ngwenya, Social Science Faculty member, AHRI
  • Busi NkosiSocial Science Research Associate, AHRI
  • Sabina OderoResearcher, Aga Khan University
  • Ester PaivaPublic Health Researcher, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
  • Samantha VanderslottAssociate Professor, Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford

Key Publications

Martin, S., and Vanderslott, S. (2021). “Any idea how fast ‘It’s just a mask!’ can turn into ‘It’s just a vaccine!’”: From mask mandates to vaccine mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinedoi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.10.031