The overall purpose of the study, conducted in consortium with LSE and BDI Research, is to collect robust and reliable data and to support the work of the Joint Research Center and DG SANTE with scientific behavioural evidence on vaccine hesitancy. We will use mixed behavioural methods (qualitative and quantitative) to understand parents’ vaccine decision-making and how to overcome potential barriers and hesitancies. Moreover, we will control whether the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced parents’ attitudes towards vaccination.

The outcome of the preliminary study will support the identification of the most promising areas of implementation of behavioural insights to improve vaccine confidence. These will potentially have an impact in the field of vaccination and will allow effective prioritisation of resources at EU and national level. The evidence collected in this preliminary study will feed into the follow up of JRC-SANTE collaborative work around vaccine hesitancy. This is aimed at promoting health and increase the quality, resilience and fairness of EU health-care systems by proving, amongst others, a better understanding of behavioural determinants of vaccine decision-making.

In the pursuit of these objectives, we plan to combine different quantitative and qualitative research methods, gathering primary data through fieldwork. The combined use of these different techniques will ensure that both the generic and the more specific research questions are addressed. The study is divided into two main fieldwork activities. First, we conduct two focus groups with a different target (i.e. adults between the age of 18 and 40 and paediatricians) in three countries, for a total of 6 focus groups. Second, we will conduct experimental online surveys in six countries with a sample of 1500 participants per country.