Vaccinations during COVID-19

Eurofound’s unique e-survey, Living, working and COVID-19, provides a snapshot of the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives, with the aim of helping policymakers to bring about an equal recovery from the crisis. Three rounds of the e-survey have been carried out to date.

  • Round 1: Launched on 9 April 2020 when most Member States were in their first lockdown
  • Round 2: July 2020 when economies and societies were gradually reopening
  • Round 3: March 2021, almost a year on, as countries were still dealing with various levels of lockdown to curb the spread of new strains of the virus, while vaccination programmes were rolled out.

The data cover a range of questions that measure vaccine hesitancy and the reasons behind it. Compare the data for each round and explore by country, gender and age.

Key findings

  • Over a quarter of people living in Europe indicate a hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine with men revealing themselves more hesitant (29%) than women (25%). Concern about safety is the biggest reason for vaccine hesitancy (62%) but 44% of those indicating hesitancy believe the risk of COVID-19 is exaggerated. 
  • Vaccine hesitancy is also associated strongly with trust and the use of social media, with countries that register low levels of trust in government also registering higher levels of vaccine-hesitancy. The vaccine-hesitant are also more likely to spend a greater amount of time on social media and to consider social media as their main source of information. 
  • The roll out of an effective vaccination campaign is essential to win the battle against COVID-19 and embark on the path to recovery. However, with more than a quarter of Europeans vaccine-hesitant, a clear, convincing and consistent communication on the safety of vaccines will be crucial to reassure citizens’ concerns.  

Background and data collection

Suggested citation

Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19 dataset, Dublin,

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In light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, it should be noted that data published on the Eurofound website may include the 28 EU Member States, as the UK was covered in earlier research. This will be progressively amended to reflect the current composition of the 27 EU Member States.