Ending the Pandemic: How Behavioural Science Can Help Optimize Global COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake


PMID: 35062668 – PMCID: PMC8777721DOI: 10.3390/vaccines10010007

Vaccines 2022, 10(2), 143

Michael Vallis, Simon Bacon, Kim Corace, Keven Joyal-Desmarais, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, Stefania Paduano, Justin Presseau, Joshua Rash, Abebaw Mengistu Yohannes and Kim Lavoie


Governments, public health officials and pharmaceutical companies have all mobilized resources to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns, social distancing, and personal protective behaviours have been helpful but have shut down economies and disrupted normal activities. Vaccinations protect populations from COVID-19 and allow a return to pre-pandemic ways of living. However, vaccine development, distribution and promotion have not been sufficient to ensure maximum vaccine uptake. Vaccination is an individual choice and requires acceptance of the need to be vaccinated in light of any risks. This paper presents a behavioural sciences framework to promote vaccine acceptance by addressing the complex and ever evolving landscape of COVID-19. Effective promotion of vaccine uptake requires understanding the context-specific barriers to acceptance. We present the AACTT framework (Action, Actor, Context, Target, Time) to identify the action needed to be taken, the person needed to act, the context for the action, as well as the target of the action within a timeframe. Once identified a model for identifying and overcoming barriers, called COM-B (Capability, Opportunity and Motivation lead to Behaviour), is presented. This analysis identifies issues associated with capability, opportunity and motivation to act. These frameworks can be used to facilitate action that is fluid and involves policy makers, organisational leaders as well as citizens and families.