Legitimacy and public sentiment regarding the Covid-19 vaccine(s)

Sikke R. Jansma


Jordy F. Gosselt


Stéphanie van den BergStéphanie van den Berg


Anna MachensAnna Machens



Robert Marinescu MusterRobert Marinescu Muster

June 6, 2023

The proposed study is a large-scale quantitative sentiment analysis of the public discourse on the Covid-19 vaccination in the Netherlands based on big data, scraped from both social and traditional media. The sentiment analysis will provide insights in the legitimacy of a vaccination in terms of expectations (positive or negative), emotions behind these expectations (anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surplice, anticipation, trust, joy), and the prominence and contents of the different pillars of legitimacy (cognitive, normative, pragmatic, regulative). As Covid-19 has a great influence on society and vaccines seem to be the only solution for ending the pandemic, it is important to study the prominence and strength of negative or positive feelings regarding a potential vaccine at an early stage, whether they are included in the mainstream debate, and how the public discourse is developing in this regard. This study provides crucial information to policymakers about how to inform the general public about vaccinations for Covid-19. By insights in how the public discourse is shaped along the pillars of legitimacy, the most prominent sentiment and underlying emotions, policy makers can proactively shape their communication and information campaigns for gaining public support for a vaccine.


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