Social media use and vaccine hesitancy in the European Union.Vaccine. 2022 03 25; 40(14):2215-2225.V
Vaccine hesitancy can hinder the successful roll-out of vaccines. This paper examines COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the European Union, drawing from a large-scale cross-national survey covering all 27 EU Member States, carried out between February and March 2021 (n = 29,755). We study the determinants of vaccine hesitancy, focusing on the role of social media use. In multivariate regression models, we find statistically significant (p < 0.05) impacts on vaccine hesitancy of heavy use of social media and using social media as a main source of news. However, the effect of social media and the drivers of vaccine hesitancy vary depending on the reason for hesitancy. Most notably, hesitancy due to health concerns is mainly driven by physical health status and less by social media use, while views that COVID-19 risks are exaggerated (or that COVID-19 does not exist) are more common among men, people in good health, and those using social media as their main source of news.