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Stamping the vaccine passport? Public support for lifting COVID-19 related restrictions for vaccinated citizens in France, Germany, and Sweden


Stoeckel, Florian; Stöckli, Sabrina; Phillips, Joseph; Lyons, Benjamin; Mérola, Vittorio; Barnfield, Matthew; Szewach, Paula; Thompson, Jack; Reifler, Jason (2022). Stamping the vaccine passport? Public support for lifting COVID-19 related restrictions for vaccinated citizens in France, Germany, and Sweden. Vaccine, 40(38):5615-5620.

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries implemented restrictions to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g. travel restrictions and lockdowns). One path to loosening restrictions is to do so selectively only for vaccinated individuals (e.g. by implementing vaccine passports domestically or as a prerequisite for international travel). Setting different rules based on people’s vaccination status is however a contentious issue among health policy experts, government officials, and the public. Our analysis focuses on the levels and correlates of public support for the lifting of restrictions for the vaccinated in April 2021, i.e. at a time when restrictions were in place and a selective lifting of these restrictions just for the vaccinated was debated in Europe. We use representative quota samples of the populations of France (N = 1,752), Germany (N = 1,759), and Sweden (N = 1,754). We find that a slight plurality support lifting restrictions for the vaccinated in France and Germany but not in Sweden. Vaccine hesitancy emerges as strong predictor of opposition to such a policy. Additionally, individuals who are already vaccinated (in France and Germany) and who are higher in risk-seeking express more support for the lifting of restrictions for the vaccinated. We discuss implications for the debate on vaccine passports.

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries implemented restrictions to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g. travel restrictions and lockdowns). One path to loosening restrictions is to do so selectively only for vaccinated individuals (e.g. by implementing vaccine passports domestically or as a prerequisite for international travel). Setting different rules based on people’s vaccination status is however a contentious issue among health policy experts, government officials, and the public. Our analysis focuses on the levels and correlates of public support for the lifting of restrictions for the vaccinated in April 2021, i.e. at a time when restrictions were in place and a selective lifting of these restrictions just for the vaccinated was debated in Europe. We use representative quota samples of the populations of France (N = 1,752), Germany (N = 1,759), and Sweden (N = 1,754). We find that a slight plurality support lifting restrictions for the vaccinated in France and Germany but not in Sweden. Vaccine hesitancy emerges as strong predictor of opposition to such a policy. Additionally, individuals who are already vaccinated (in France and Germany) and who are higher in risk-seeking express more support for the lifting of restrictions for the vaccinated. We discuss implications for the debate on vaccine passports.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Health Sciences > General Veterinary
Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Infectious Diseases, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, General Veterinary, General Immunology and Microbiology, Molecular Medicine
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:1 September 2022
Deposited On:16 Oct 2023 12:16
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0264-410X
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.08.009
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:24123
Project Information:
  • : FunderEuropean Research Council
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderHorizon 2020 Framework Programme
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderHorizon 2020
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID682758
  • : Project TitleDEBUNKER - The Problem of European Misperceptions in Politics, Health, and Science: Causes, Consequences, and the Search for Solutions
  • : FunderBritish Academy
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)