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Taking a shot

12 November, 2020

The big news this week is, of course, the announcement around the first viable vaccine for Covid-19. A way out of restricted living and intermittent lockdowns is, finally, on the horizon. But only if the vaccine can be successfully rolled out… 

Much of the debate on rollout has been around the massive logistical challenges involved, particularly the not inconsiderable challenge of keeping it below 70 degrees. But we’ve also been pleased to see at least some attention focused on the demand side challenges that, all too often, get forgotten. The question of whether people will actually be ready and willing to take the vaccine is at least being asked. 

Vaccine confidence expert, and friend of Good Business, Heidi Larsson has been on the news and in discussions with government – and, while it’s far from clear that an effective campaign to tackle the misinformation that abounds will be the result, it’s a start. 

Behaviour change experts have been involved in other elements of the response to the pandemic too. They have an official place on the SAGE advisory group, and over the past eight months behaviour research has served to illuminate the complex interplay between the virus and human behaviour, so helping to guide effective action. 

Just this week the Behavioural Insights Team found that 8% of the population are accountable for 60% of Covid-19 transmission – as a direct result of their extreme rule-flouting behaviour (typically meeting at least three people and not adhering to guidelines).  

So, while there’s a long way to go before behavioural science has the seat at the table we think it deserves, this feels like a week to hold on to signs of positive change. 

By Cara McEvoy

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