A new paper about the protective behaviours against COVID-19 by individual vaccination status by members of the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker team in collaborations with other researchers was published in JAMA Network Open today.

The authors are the School's Anna Petherick, Thomas Hale, Toby Phillips alongside Rafael Goldszmidt, Eduardo Andrade, Rodrigo Furst and Sarah Jones.

The study compares the self-reported protective behaviours of individuals who had received zero, one, or both COVID-19 vaccine doses between February and June 2021 in 12 countries.

The onset of vaccination programmes against COVID-19, along with people’s urge to return to "normal life", has prompted concerns that individuals who were vaccinated would reduce their protective behaviours faster than recommended. Overall, the cross-sectional study found no substantial reduction in physical distancing or mask use associated with receipt of COVID-19 vaccine doses. This suggests that until early June, people generally did not engage in concerning levels of risk compensation as they acquired immunity. There was no discontinuity in behaviour soon after US President Joe Biden announced that US adults who had been fully vaccinated need not wear masks or physically distance. 

JAMA Network Open is an international, peer-reviewed, open access general medical journal.