COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK
Buckell J., Jones J., Matthews PC., Diamond SI., Rourke E., Studley R., Cook D., Walker AS., Pouwels KB., Thomas T., Ayoubkhani D., Black R., Felton A., Crees M., Jones J., Lloyd L., Sutherland E., Pritchard E., Vihta K-D., Doherty G., Kavanagh J., Chau KK., Hatch SB., Ebner D., Ferreira LM., Christott T., Dejnirattisai W., Mongkolsapaya J., Cameron S., Tamblin-Hopper P., Wolna M., Brown R., Cornall R., Screaton G., Cox S., Paddon K., James T., House T., Robotham J., Birrell P., Jordan H., Sheppard T., Athey G., Moody D., Curry L., Brereton P., Jarvis I., Godsmark A., Morris G., Mallick B., Eeles P., Hay J., VanSteenhouse H., Lee J., White S., Evans T., Bloemberg L., Allison K., Pandya A., Davis S., Conway DI., MacLeod M., Cunningham C., Lythgoe K., Bonsall D., Golubchik T., Fryer H.
AbstractThe physiological effects of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are well documented, yet the behavioural effects not well known. Risk compensation suggests that gains in personal safety, as a result of vaccination, are offset by increases in risky behaviour, such as socialising, commuting and working outside the home. This is potentially important because transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is driven by contacts, which could be amplified by vaccine-related risk compensation. Here, we show that behaviours were overall unrelated to personal vaccination, but—adjusting for variation in mitigation policies—were responsive to the level of vaccination in the wider population: individuals in the UK were risk compensating when rates of vaccination were rising. This effect was observed across four nations of the UK, each of which varied policies autonomously.