Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Risk Seeking Attitudes towards COVID-19 Vaccination and the role of HCPs in Norway and Pakistan

Wajahat Munira and Frederic Emmanuel Bouderb

University of Stavanger, Norway.


The health impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-COV2 virus, varies significantly between age groups. While most people suffer mild to severe symptoms and recover without needing special treatment, at risk groups such as the elderly and people with co-morbidities have been tragically hit, especially in the early phase of the 2020 pandemic. In this context, governments have facilitated an unprecedented effort to fast-track, develop and roll out a worldwide vaccination programme. Vaccination is seen as a life-saving intervention for at risk groups and a health benefit for larger segments of the population. Most countries share a commitment to large-scale vaccination to counter COVID-19. However, despite the global nature of the effort, variations have been observed on the ground both in terms of strategy, delivery and acceptance. In addition, several risks associated with the vaccination for COVID-19 have been discussed, including within the medical profession. This paper presents a qualitative analysis of risk perception approached through the lens of medical intervention by Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) in charge of administering the COVID-19 vaccination. It is based on 20 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2020 with HCPs from Norway (N10) and Pakistan (N10). The research points to several casualties and motivational conversations with HCPs are the impetus for people to take the COVID-19 vaccination. Myths and unavailability of reality and truth are the main concerns observed in Pakistan. HCPs from Norway, on the other hand, have indicated that the willingness of the patients and support from family members are key motivations to take vaccines in Norway. However, the risk-seeking attitude of people is influenced by the scare of side effects and negative media reports, and lack of trust in vaccines. This research concludes on the need for more research for determining the risk-seeking attitude of people outside the Western hemisphere before and after taking the COVID-19 vaccination.

Keywords: Risk seeking attitude, COVID-19, Vaccination, Risk communication, Healthcare professionals, Norway, Pakistan.

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