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Correlates of support for international vaccine solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-sectional survey evidence from Germany

Stoeckel, Florian, Thompson, Jack, Szewach, Paula, Stöckli, Sabrina, Barnfield, Matthew, Phillips, Joseph B., Lyons, Benjamin, Mérola, Vittorio, Reifler, Jason (2023) Correlates of support for international vaccine solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic: cross-sectional survey evidence from Germany. PLOS ONE, 18 (6). Article Number e0287257. E-ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0287257) (KAR id:101819)


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many residents of high-income countries (HICs) were eligible for COVID-19 vaccine boosters, while many residents of lower-income countries (LICs) had not yet received a first dose. HICs made some efforts to contribute to COVID-19 vaccination efforts in LICs, but these efforts were limited in scale. A new literature discusses the normative importance of an international redistribution of vaccines. Our analysis contributes an empirical perspective on the willingness of citizens in a HIC to contribute to such efforts (which we term international vaccine solidarity). We analyse the levels and predictors of international vaccine solidarity. We surveyed a representative sample of German adults (n = 2019) who participated in a two-wave YouGov online survey (w1: Sep 13–21, 2021 and w2: Oct 4–13, 2021). International vaccine solidarity is measured by asking respondents preferences for sharing vaccine supplies internationally versus using that supply as boosters for the domestic population. We examine a set of pre-registered hypotheses. Almost half of the respondents in our sample (48%) prioritize giving doses to citizens in less developed countries. A third of respondents (33%) prefer to use available doses as boosters domestically, and a fifth of respondents (19%) did not report a preference. In line with our hypotheses, respondents higher in cosmopolitanism and empathy, and those who support domestic redistribution exhibit more support for international dose-sharing. Older respondents (who might be more at risk) do not consistently show less support for vaccine solidarity. These results help us to get a better understanding of the way citizens’ form preferences about a mechanism that redistributes medical supplies internationally during a global crisis.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0287257
Uncontrolled keywords: Vaccines; booster doses; COVID 19; psychological attitudes; dose prediction methods; low income countries; vaccine development; pandemics
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: European Commission (
European Research Council (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2023 09:09 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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