Vaccine envy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Jul 10, 2023

The term vaccine envy (i. e., envy experienced when others are given the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine) was coined during the COVID-19 pandemic and has received media attention. This study is the first to systematically investigate vaccine envy. In two pre-registered online surveys conducted in May 2021 (N = 1,174) and October/November 2021 (N = 535), we collected data from vaccinated and unvaccinated German participants, including measures of vaccine envy, well-being, personal experiences during the pandemic, and various trait constructs (e. g., justice sensitivity and self-esteem). We found that in May 2021, 47% of participants experienced vaccine envy at least sometimes and that vaccine envy was connected to victim sensitivity, subjective perceptions of being threatened by the pandemic, and an increased willingness to be vaccinated. By November 2021, however, vaccine envy among unvaccinated participants had almost disappeared. Our findings advance the understanding of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concepts Keywords
Envy COVID-19
German Deservingness
November Envy
Vaccines Justice sensitivity


Type Source Name
disease VO vaccine
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease VO vaccinated
disease VO unvaccinated

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