The Big Push Narrative: A Qualitative Analysis of a COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Narrative and its Influence on COVID-19 Vaccination Decision-Making Open Access

Chelli, Sarah (Spring 2022)

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The COVID-19 vaccine has been met with levels of acceptance but also hesitancy. While vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon, findings from a CDC-funded project has shown that common stories, or narratives, have risen that people use to justify their hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccines. One narrative in particular that was identified is the Big Push narrative: a narrative built on the basis that there is this “big push” for the COVID-19 vaccine that made people feel hesitant about deciding to get vaccinated. The purpose of this thesis was to describe the Big Push narrative about the development of COVID-19 vaccines to help us understand its influence on unvaccinated Americans’ decision-making process regarding COVID-19 vaccination. A qualitative narrative analysis was conducted using secondary data from the original project. The data included insights and perspectives from the transcripts of design group conversations that took place in health centers across the country. From the data we learned that the Big Push narrative is comprised of themes consisting of information related to the COVID-19 vaccine, feelings about the COVID-19 vaccine, motivations for the COVID-19 vaccine push, and reasons for resisting the COVID-19 vaccine push. The break down of the Big Push narrative allowed us to better understand how this narrative influences COVID-19 vaccination decision-making. The analysis of the Big Push narrative helped us identify four needs that must be met in order for those who are COVID-19 vaccine hesitant to make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccine. Potential implementation strategies in how to meet these needs was also described. With more research about this narrative and other COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy narratives, we can better understand and address the concerns of vaccine hesitant people and work towards improving COVID-19 vaccination uptake efforts and vaccine promotion strategies.

Table of Contents

Purpose 1

Introduction 1

History of Vaccines 1

Background and Significance 1

Vaccine Hesitancy 1

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Vaccines 3

The Big Push Narrative 4

Gap in Knowledge about the Big Push Narrative 5

Methods 6

Background of the Project 6

Data 8

Data Analysis 8

Results 9

Themes and Codes 10

Comparing the Preliminary Analysis to the Secondary Analysis 14

Discussion 16

Finding 1 16

Finding 2 18

Finding 3 21

Finding 4 24

Finding 5 27

Implications of the Findings 28

Limitations 30

Conclusion 31

References 33

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