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Brief Report

COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Social Networks: Does It Influence Vaccine Hesitancy?

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
2
Miller College of Business, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA
3
School of Population Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA
4
School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, University of Houston, Victoria, TX 77901, USA
5
Department of Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189448
Received: 14 July 2021 / Revised: 3 September 2021 / Accepted: 5 September 2021 / Published: 7 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
The impact of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among family and friends on vaccination preferences is not well explored. A valid and reliable questionnaire was deployed online via mTurk to recruit a national random sample of adult Americans to understand COVID-19 vaccination preferences and its relationship with COVID-19 infection in social networks. A total of 1602 individuals participated in the study where the majority had taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (79%) and almost a tenth were planning to do so (10%) or did not want to take the vaccine (11%). Compared to those who knew family members or friends affected by COVID-19, those who did not know anyone infected with (AOR = 3.20), hospitalized for (AOR = 3.60), or died of COVID-19 (AOR = 2.97) had statistically significantly higher odds of refusing the vaccines. Most strategies for reducing COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy focus on highlighting the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines. We suggest that the dangers of not getting the vaccine should also be emphasized as many people who do not know someone who was affected with COVID-19 are also hesitant towards vaccination. These individuals may not fully appreciate the morbidity and mortality impact of COVID-19 infections and the messaging can be tailored to highlight the risk of not having vaccines. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; vaccine; hesitancy; denial; behavior; immunization COVID-19; Coronavirus; vaccine; hesitancy; denial; behavior; immunization
MDPI and ACS Style

Khubchandani, J.; Sharma, S.; Price, J.H.; Wiblishauser, M.J.; Webb, F.J. COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Social Networks: Does It Influence Vaccine Hesitancy? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189448

AMA Style

Khubchandani J, Sharma S, Price JH, Wiblishauser MJ, Webb FJ. COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Social Networks: Does It Influence Vaccine Hesitancy? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189448

Chicago/Turabian Style

Khubchandani, Jagdish, Sushil Sharma, James H. Price, Michael J. Wiblishauser, and Fern J. Webb. 2021. "COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Social Networks: Does It Influence Vaccine Hesitancy?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9448. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189448

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