COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK

the COVID-19 Infection Survey team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The physiological effects of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are well documented, yet the behavioural effects not well known. Risk compensation suggests that gains in personal safety, as a result of vaccination, are offset by increases in risky behaviour, such as socialising, commuting and working outside the home. This is potentially important because transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is driven by contacts, which could be amplified by vaccine-related risk compensation. Here, we show that behaviours were overall unrelated to personal vaccination, but—adjusting for variation in mitigation policies—were responsive to the level of vaccination in the wider population: individuals in the UK were risk compensating when rates of vaccination were rising. This effect was observed across four nations of the UK, each of which varied policies autonomously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8441
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'COVID-19 vaccination, risk-compensatory behaviours, and contacts in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this