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Publication Detail
Do people reduce compliance with COVID-19 guidelines following vaccination? A longitudinal analysis of matched UK adults
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Wright L, Steptoe A, Mak HW, Fancourt D
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    COVID-19, epidemics, health
  • Notes:
    © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 vaccines do not confer immediate immunity and vaccinated individuals may still be at risk of transmitting the virus. Governments have not exempted vaccinated individuals from behavioural measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as practising social distancing. However, vaccinated individuals may have reduced compliance with these measures, given lower perceived risks. METHODS: We used monthly panel data from October 2020 to March 2021 in the UK COVID-19 Social Study to assess changes in compliance following vaccination. Compliance was measured with two items on compliance with guidelines in general and compliance with social distancing. We used matching to create comparable groups of individuals by month of vaccination (January, February or not vaccinated by February) and fixed effects regression to estimate changes in compliance over the study period. RESULTS: Compliance increased between October 2020 and March 2021, regardless of vaccination status or month of vaccination. There was no clear evidence that vaccinated individuals decreased compliance relative to those who were not yet vaccinated. CONCLUSION: There was little evidence that sample members vaccinated in January or February reduced compliance after receiving vaccination for COVID-19. Continued monitoring is required as younger individuals receive the vaccine, lockdown restrictions are lifted and individuals receive second doses of the vaccine.
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