Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination vary considerably within and between countries. Although the contribution of socio-demographic factors to these attitudes has been studied, the role of social media and how it interacts with news about vaccine development and efficacy is uncertain. We examined around 2 million tweets from 522,893 persons in the UK from November 2020 to January 2021 to evaluate links between Twitter content about vaccines and major scientific news announcements about vaccines. The proportion of tweets with negative vaccine content varied, with reductions of 20-24% on the same day as major news announcement. However, the proportion of negative tweets reverted back to an average of around 40% within a few days. Engagement rates were higher for negative tweets. Public health messaging could consider the dynamics of Twitter-related traffic and the potential contribution of more targeted social media campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy.

Original publication




Journal article


Sci Rep

Publication Date