Hearing personal experiences of someone who got sick with Covid-19 or died from the disease are twice as likely to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, a new study has shown.

According to the study published in the journal Vaccine, the researchers surveyed 1,193 people in the US who were eligible for the vaccine to see who knew family members or friends who had recovered, were still sick or had died from Covid-19 and had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The researchers found that essential workers and people with good or better health status were more likely to have received an initial vaccine dose within four months of the EUA (Emergency Use Authorisation) as older respondents, had a higher income or a higher education level.

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Conversely, uninsured people, Alaskan natives or American Indians were significantly less likely to receive the vaccine within four months of the EUA, the study mentioned.

“This study shows that the messenger matters more than the message: Hearing about the experiences of a trusted person, such as a friend or a family member, can be more effective than vaccine mandates,” said Saurabh Kalra, a doctoral student at the US-based Rutgers School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

These findings indicate the need for targeted efforts to increase vaccinations among young adults, those with lower levels of education, and those living in lower-income households, said the study.

“These findings should encourage people to share stories about their Covid-19 illness and bereavement experiences with their friends and family as well as through social media as it may motivate people to be vaccinated,” said co-author Irina Grafova, a health economist at Rutgers School of Public Health.

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