PNAS Nexus
Article/journal, Government & politics, Human rights & justice, Public policy, Policy, Elections & Representation Lab, Munk School

Minimal effects from injunctive norm and contentiousness treatments on COVID-19 vaccine intentions: evidence from 3 countries

Public health officials are currently struggling to determine which messages will most effectively promote vaccination as they seek to achieve the immunization rates required to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we focus on the potential of injunctive norm messages that describe which behaviors are seen as socially desirable.

Our results indicate that providing accurate public opinion information about public support for people getting vaccinated has little measurable effect on reported vaccination intentions across Great Britain, Canada, and the United States. These results suggest that messages conveying widespread belief that people should get vaccinated are not effective in increasing intention to vaccinate—a highly relevant finding in countries where vaccinated majorities often convey disapproval of the unvaccinated.