“I Feel Like the Risks Far Outweigh the Benefits of the Vaccinations”: Investigating Vaccine Risk Perceptions, Emotions, and the PRISM Framework
COVID-19; vaccinations; risk perceptions; risk responses; PRISM framework
Taylor and Francis Group
Atlantic Journal of Communication
Vaccinations are important tools in public health. Yet, heightened risk perceptions toward vaccines as well as vaccine hesitancy are increasing in society. Thus, the purpose of this study was to learn about risk perceptions and affective risk responses (i.e., emotions) toward vaccines in general and the COVID-19 vaccine, using the Planned Risk Information Seeking Model (PRISM) as a sensitizing framework. Focusing largely on qualitative responses from 336 participants, findings suggest that individuals perceive risk for vaccines in general and the COVID-19 vaccine in terms of safety and side effect concerns. Additionally, both positive and negative emotions were evoked among participants. Findings are discussed in relation to extant research, theoretical implications, and future research.