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Article

COVID-19 Vaccine Misperceptions in a Community Sample of Adults Aged 18–49 Years in Australia

1
Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney Health Literacy Lab, School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
2
Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab, School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong, Wollongong 2522, Australia
3
Western Sydney Diabetes, Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney 2006, Australia
4
National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, Kids Research, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, Sydney 2006, Australia
5
School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2006, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116883
Received: 3 May 2022 / Revised: 30 May 2022 / Accepted: 30 May 2022 / Published: 4 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Behavioural Science during COVID-19)
Central to a successful population vaccination program is high uptake of vaccines. However, COVID-19 vaccine uptake may be impeded by beliefs based on misinformation. We sought to understand the prevalence and nature of misbeliefs about COVID-19 vaccines, and identify associated factors, shortly after commencement of Australia’s national vaccine rollout. A cross-sectional survey was administered to unvaccinated young adults (n = 2050) in Australia aged 18–49 years (mean age 33 years), 13 July–21 August 2021. This sample was previously under-represented in COVID-19 research but shown to have less willingness to vaccinate. Two thirds of participants agreed with at least one misbelief item. Misperceptions about COVID-19 vaccines were found to be significantly associated with lower health literacy, less knowledge about vaccines, lower perceived personal risk of COVID-19, greater endorsement of conspiracy beliefs, and lower confidence and trust in government and scientific institutions. Misbeliefs were more common in participants with less educational attainment, in younger age groups, and in males, as per previous research. Understanding determinants and barriers to vaccination uptake, such as knowledge and beliefs based on misinformation, can help to shape effective public health communication and inform debunking efforts at this critical time and in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; vaccination; vaccines; misinformation; beliefs; misperceptions; vaccination willingness; vaccine uptake; vaccine knowledge; trust COVID-19; vaccination; vaccines; misinformation; beliefs; misperceptions; vaccination willingness; vaccine uptake; vaccine knowledge; trust
MDPI and ACS Style

Pickles, K.; Copp, T.; Meyerowitz-Katz, G.; Dodd, R.H.; Bonner, C.; Nickel, B.; Steffens, M.S.; Seale, H.; Cvejic, E.; Taba, M.; Chau, B.; McCaffery, K.J. COVID-19 Vaccine Misperceptions in a Community Sample of Adults Aged 18–49 Years in Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 6883. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116883

AMA Style

Pickles K, Copp T, Meyerowitz-Katz G, Dodd RH, Bonner C, Nickel B, Steffens MS, Seale H, Cvejic E, Taba M, Chau B, McCaffery KJ. COVID-19 Vaccine Misperceptions in a Community Sample of Adults Aged 18–49 Years in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(11):6883. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116883

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pickles, Kristen, Tessa Copp, Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, Rachael H. Dodd, Carissa Bonner, Brooke Nickel, Maryke S. Steffens, Holly Seale, Erin Cvejic, Melody Taba, Brian Chau, and Kirsten J. McCaffery. 2022. "COVID-19 Vaccine Misperceptions in a Community Sample of Adults Aged 18–49 Years in Australia" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 11: 6883. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116883

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