The paper presents a longitudinal cohort survey on the public acceptability of COVID-19 vaccination and real vaccination levels. A survey on a representative sample of adult Polish citizens (n = 1066) was conducted in June 2020 and, one year later, the same group was approached to compare the hypothetical declarations with the real vaccination decisions (n = 438). A significant part of the group that declared reluctance and hesitation toward COVID-19 vaccination before that vaccination was available actually got vaccinated or plans to get vaccinated. Those respondents were asked about the reasons for changing their attitudes. Among the previously vaccine-reluctant individuals, the main reasons included concern about their health and safety (50%) and their desire to travel (26.6%). Vaccine-hesitant individuals also indicated health and safety as their primary concern (69%), as well as the pursuit of herd immunity and a notion of common social safety (12.6%). The main factors helping to increase vaccination acceptance are based on a self-centered pursuit of safety and freedom from restrictions. The survey results may help to prepare a more effective vaccination campaign.
Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine hesitancy; vaccines.