Anticipation of COVID-19 vaccines reduces willingness to socially distance

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

We investigate how the anticipation of COVID-19 vaccines affects voluntary social distancing. In a large-scale preregistered survey experiment with a representative sample, we study whether
providing information about the safety, effectiveness, and availability of COVID-19 vaccines affects the willingness to comply with public health guidelines. We find that vaccine information
reduces peoples’ voluntary social distancing, adherence to hygiene guidelines, and their willingness to stay at home. Getting positive information on COVID-19 vaccines induces people to
believe in a swifter return to normal life. The results indicate an important behavioral drawback of successful vaccine development: An increased focus on vaccines can lower compliance with
public health guidelines and accelerate the spread of infectious disease. The results imply that, as vaccinations roll out and the end of a pandemic feels closer, policies aimed at increasing social
distancing will be less effective, and stricter policies might be required.
TidsskriftJournal of Health Economics
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

ID: 286435360