Perceptions and experiences of COVID 19 vaccinations

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch East Sussex ran a survey in February and March 2021 to capture feedback from two groups of East Sussex residents in order to explore the direct experiences of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, with a focus on understanding how they had found the process, including what was effective and how it may be improved and the views and preferences of those yet to be invited for their COVID-19 vaccination, including how likely they were to accept a vaccination.  They received 1,855 responses to the survey.

Over four in five respondents had already received a COVID-19 vaccination.  Almost all of those were very likely or likely to recommend a vaccination to family and friends, with a similar proportion feeling very safe or safe when attending vaccination sites.

The most common motivations for accepting a vaccination were ‘protecting my family, friends and loved ones’ (89.5%) and ‘protecting myself’ (88.3%), with the next three being ‘combating the COVID-19 virus’, ‘It’s the responsible thing to do’ and ‘Getting back to normal as soon as possible’.

Twelve percent ff vaccination recipients indicated that they had a post-vaccination concern, with the most common issues relating to post-vaccination side-effects, the long-term effects of the vaccines and anxiety around dates for second vaccinations for those who had not received them. Only 4% of respondents felt that vaccination sites did not meet their accessibility or other requirements. However, issues were raised about sites in relation to the proximity of car and bus stops/train stations, signage both around and on sites, availability of all-weather waiting areas, adequate seating and staff adherence to PPE and social distancing guidance.

. Approximately one-in-five people identified an issue which impacted on their ability to attend their vaccination, ranging from seeking time from employers and personal caring responsibilities, through to practical issues such as a lack of suitable transport options and the cost of travel

Nearly half of those vaccinated had not received information on support with travel before their vaccination, and a quarter had no contact details they could use if they had any queries. Over three in five received written details of who to contact in the event of an adverse reaction, and just over half had received guidance on need to continue to adhere to Hands-Face-Space post-vaccination

Of the 297 respondents who had not been vaccinated, three in five indicated they would or were likely to accept one. Of the two in five who would not, were unlikely to or had already declined a vaccination, 47 (40%) had already declined a vaccination. The most common reasons for not wishing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination were: personal choice, vaccine safety, long-term effects and a desire to wait and see if issues arise. When asked what would help people decide, the most common reasons given were more robust evidence, nothing and details of vaccine safety.

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General details

Report title 
Perceptions and experiences of COVID 19 vaccinations
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch East Sussex
Date of publication 
Thursday, 13 May, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 February, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Car parking access
Communication between staff and patients
Health protection
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.