Understanding How Timing Impacts Vaccine Hesitancy

Understanding How Timing Impacts Vaccine Hesitancy

Premise data shows the complexities of vaccine hesitancy and the leading indicators of the next COVID outbreak.


By Mike Strauss | Director, Asia Pacific

Premise has been collecting data in more than 100 countries to understand pandemic concerns and the changes communities have undertaken to manage COVID-19

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One trend we’ve been noticing is that concerns about COVID-19 impacting people’s livelihood have been fluctuating around the world since the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic in March of 2020. 

As cases spread around the globe from centralized urban hubs, to rural corners of the developing world, community concern would rise and wane with the preventative measures imposed by governments and health officials. Once vaccines became a tool for governments to manage cases, the dynamics of educating citizens about COVID-19 have shifted into a realm mixed with misinformation, vaccine hesitancy, and varying trust in global institutions.

Regionally, we’ve seen shifts in those concerns as outbreaks occur amongst varying pockets of the world. Examples include when COVID-19 cases spiked in the US and UK in the fall and winter of 2020; in India in April 2021; and in Italy in March and November of 2020. 

The latest outbreak getting significant media attention is occurring in Indonesia, as officials scramble to manage fast rising case counts and vaccinate the public. Despite vaccines being available in Indonesia since January, less than 7% of the population is fully vaccinated. While vaccine hesitancy is not unique to Indonesia, the timeline of sentiment towards vaccination is important to understand.

While the pace of vaccination has been relatively slow and steady, Premise was able to detect a significant spike in the public’s willingness to be vaccinated. This was preempted with a significant increase in the number of concerned citizens about the spread of COVID, before local and international media sources began reporting on the rising number of cases.

While the increase in Indonesians’ willingness to be vaccinated has to be a welcome sign for health professionals, another complicated factor at play during this outbreak is the preference towards the different vaccines available. 

When vaccines were first made available in January, much of the country remained uncertain about which vaccine citizens trusted to protect them against COVID-19. By June, nearly every region of the country ranked the Chinese made Sinovac vaccine as the most trustworthy. But even before the current outbreak, questions surrounding the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine were causing concern amongst international health experts, that it may not be as effective as the alternative Pfizer and Astrazeneca versions being offered.

Looking at data from July as cases spike across the country, sentiment towards vaccines is shifting back to undecided, in many regions across Indonesia, or in some areas, shifting towards Pfizer and Astrazeneca.

Understanding barriers to vaccination, hesitancy and misinformation is another element critical to combating COVID-19. Through sentiment surveys and online tasks that ask contributors to document content found in private social media and texting apps, Premise can help clients understand local problems and sources of information and influence. 

Armed with that knowledge, our clients can plan and implement corrective solutions before the next outbreak occurs. 

Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today.