Public's perspective on COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccines after thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) reports and associated regulatory actions: A cross-sectional study in six EU member states

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  • Buhl, Caroline
  • Jacobsen, Ramune
  • Almarsdóttir, Anna Birna
  • Shahab Abtahi
  • Armin Andersen
  • Elena Deligianni
  • Foteini Dermiki-Gkana
  • Christos Kontogiorgis
  • Chara Oikonomou
  • Mirdza Kursite
  • Elita Poplavska
  • Ingrid Hegger
  • Marloes van der Goot
  • Paula Barão Sousa Ferreira
  • Inês Ribeiro-Vaz
  • Ana Marta Silva
  • Mitja Kos
  • Nanča Čebron Lipovec
  • Ella van Vliet
  • Teresa Leonardo Alves

Objective: In 2021, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) was confirmed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as a rare side effect of the COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccines Vaxzevria® and Jcovden®. This study aimed to describe the public's knowledge of TTS and how it affected the willingness to be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines in six European countries. Methods: From June to October of 2022, a multi-country cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia. The minimum target of participants to be recruited was based on the size of the country's population. The results were analysed descriptively. Results: In total, 3794 respondents were included in the analysis; across the six countries, 33.3 %–68.3 % reported being familiar with signs and symptoms of TTS, although 3.1–61.4 % of those were able to identify the symptoms correctly. The reported changes in willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and with other vaccines varied per country. The largest reported change in the willingness to be vaccinated with Vaxzevria® and Jcovden® was observed in Denmark (61.2 %), while the willingness to be vaccinated with other COVID-19 vaccines changed most in Slovenia (30.4 %). The smallest decrease in willingness towards future vaccination against COVID-19 was reported in the Netherlands (20.9 %) contrasting with the largest decrease observed in Latvia (69.1 %). Conclusion: Knowledge about TTS seemed to have influenced the public's opinion in Europe resulting in less willingness to be vaccinated with Vaxzevria® and Jcovden®. Willingness for vaccination against COVID-19 with other vaccines and widespread use of vaccines to prevent other diseases also differed and seemed to be determined by the approaches taken by national health authorities when reacting to and communicating about COVID-19 vaccination risks. Further investigation of optimal risk communication strategies is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)556-563
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • COVID-19 vaccines, National health policies, Public perception, Risk awareness, SARS-CoV-2 adenovirus vector vaccines, Thrombosis with thrombocytopaenia syndrome (TTS)

ID: 380201096