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Special Issue "Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Infectious Disease Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022 | Viewed by 26982

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zahid Ahmad Butt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Interests: HIV/HCV/HBV coinfections; vaccine preventable diseases; communicable and non-communicable disease syndemics; global health; big data; spatial analysis of complex data

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As Section Editor-in-Chief of the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, it is my pleasure to invite you to contribute articles to the Special Issue of the journal dedicated to vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19.

Vaccination is one of the most significant public health interventions for reducing the burden of infectious diseases globally. Vaccines have been instrumental in tackling several preventable diseases, such as polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles, mumps, and rubella. In fact, the most significant achievement of vaccination has been the eradication of smallpox. Despite the continued success of vaccination in preventing infectious diseases, the spread of misinformation and antivaccination movements have led to increased vaccine hesitancy all over the world. According to the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) working group, vaccine hesitancy can be defined as the “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccination despite the availability of vaccine services”. Vaccine hesitancy has increased worldwide due to different factors and barriers that should be addressed to improve the acceptance of global vaccination programs in both developed and developing countries. The issue of vaccine hesitancy has become even more important in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct high-quality research that can examine and understand the factors related to vaccine hesitancy related to COVID-19.

This Special Issue of IJERPH is designed to enable the rapid publication and dissemination of innovative research with the aim of advancing the scientific knowledge and highlighting future perspectives on vaccine hesitancy associated with COVID-19 vaccines. We are interested in all aspects of COVID-19 research that relate to vaccine hesitancy. Potential topics on aspects of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy are listed below under the Keywords/Topics section.

Dr. Zahid Butt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Vaccine hesitancy, especially related to COVID-19
  • Willingness or intention to use COVID-19 vaccines
  • Misinformation and disinformation related to COVID-19 vaccines
  • Social media and vaccine hesitancy
  • Methodological approaches to understand COVID-19 hesitancy
  • Vaccine complacency, convenience, and confidence

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Article
Students’ Attitudes toward COVID-19 Vaccination: An Inter-University Study from Bulgaria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 9779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19169779 - 09 Aug 2022
Viewed by 289
Abstract
In Bulgaria, vaccination coverage against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is low. The reasons for this fact are many and varied. The aim of the present study was to establish what the attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccination process are among students from various specialties from [...] Read more.
In Bulgaria, vaccination coverage against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is low. The reasons for this fact are many and varied. The aim of the present study was to establish what the attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccination process are among students from various specialties from several Bulgarian universities. In this research, 600 students participated, divided into two groups: Doctor of Medicine (MD) students (n = 300) and non-MD students, i.e., students of specialties, such as mathematics, engineering, finance and economics, law, human sciences, etc. (n = 300). Each respondent completed a questionnaire which was divided into three parts with closed questions. The mean age of all students was 21.19 ± 1.87 years (95% CI: 20.48–21.90). The female sex dominated among the analyzed participants (sex ratio: female/male = 1/0.85). Nearly 62% (371/600) of individuals declared that they have been COVID-19 vaccinated with at least one dose (p < 0.001). Overall, 33% of the participants sought information on vaccines from video sharing platforms and 36.0% (216/600) from social media platforms. From the conducted multivariable logistic regression the odds of vaccination against COVID-19 were 6.225 times higher in individuals with a positive attitude towards these vaccines than in people with a negative attitude towards them (p < 0.001). We have found that those students who trust the international health organizations had an OR of 2.365 (p = 0.004) to be SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated. We estimated that the odds of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 among children were 4.794 times higher in parents (students) who had been vaccinated than in non-vaccinated parents (students) (p < 0.001). Our results could support the national public health organizations, the national educational/scientific systems, and the management of Bulgarian universities in making future decisions about the field of COVID-19 control and prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Predictors of Uncertainty and Unwillingness to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine in Men Who Have Sex with Men in France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5372; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095372 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 705
Abstract
The development of vaccines against COVID-19 has given hope to populations. Public acceptability of vaccination is a major driver in containing the disease. However, in marginalized and stigmatized populations, uncertainty and unwillingness may be a challenge. This study aimed to analyze the factors [...] Read more.
The development of vaccines against COVID-19 has given hope to populations. Public acceptability of vaccination is a major driver in containing the disease. However, in marginalized and stigmatized populations, uncertainty and unwillingness may be a challenge. This study aimed to analyze the factors associated with uncertainty and unwillingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 in men who have sex with men (MSM) living in France. The data used came from Rapport au Sexe (ERAS) 2021, a voluntary, cross-sectional, anonymous, self-administered, online survey conducted from 26 February to 11 April 2021. Among the 15,426 respondents included in the analysis, 60.5% were willing to vaccinate (these included persons already vaccinated), 17.5% were not, and 22% were uncertain. Factors independently associated with uncertainty and unwillingness were lower education level, low health literacy level, financial hardship, being under 30 years of age, and living in a rural area. HIV-positive MSM were less likely to report vaccination uncertainty and unwillingness than HIV-negative MSM and those with unknown serostatus. Although more impacted by COVID-19, socioeconomically vulnerable MSM were the sub-group most unwilling to vaccinate. To improve acceptability of COVID-19 vaccination in MSM, policy makers and researchers must increase access to and understanding of medical information by considering the general public’s health literacy when developing information sources. Moreover, a dedicated global care approach, which ensures these populations can be reached, is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccine Decision-Making among Parents in Southern California
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074212 - 01 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Adolescent COVID-19 vaccination has stalled at 53% in the United States. Vaccinating adolescents remains critical to preventing the continued transmission of COVID-19, the emergence of variants, and rare but serious disease in children, and it is the best preventive measure available to return [...] Read more.
Adolescent COVID-19 vaccination has stalled at 53% in the United States. Vaccinating adolescents remains critical to preventing the continued transmission of COVID-19, the emergence of variants, and rare but serious disease in children, and it is the best preventive measure available to return to in-person schooling. We investigated parent–adolescent COVID-19 vaccine decision-making. Between 24 February and 15 March 2021, we conducted surveys and 12 focus groups with 46 parent–adolescent dyads in Southern California. Parents and adolescents completed a survey prior to participation in a focus group discussion, which focused on exploring COVID-19 vaccine acceptance or uncertainty and was guided by the 5C vaccine hesitancy model. Parents uncertain about vaccinating adolescents expressed low vaccine confidence and high COVID-19 disease risk complacency. Parents who accepted COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents expressed high confidence in health authority vaccine recommendations, high perceived COVID-19 risk, and collective responsibility to vaccinate children. Additionally, unique pandemic-related factors of vaccine acceptance included vaccinating for emotional health, resuming social activities, and vaccine mandates. Among parents, 46% were willing to vaccinate their adolescent, 11% were not, and 43% were unsure. Among adolescents, 63% were willing to vaccinate. Despite vaccine availability, 47% of adolescents remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. Factors associated with vaccine uncertainty and acceptability inform health care practitioner, school, community, and public health messaging to reach parents and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Willingness to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccination and the Psychological State of Japanese University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031654 - 31 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1096
Abstract
Vaccinations may be one of the solutions to end the COVID-19 pandemic. One’s psychological state may be strongly related to one’s willingness to be vaccinated. This study investigated the relationship between the psychological state of Japanese university students and their willingness to be [...] Read more.
Vaccinations may be one of the solutions to end the COVID-19 pandemic. One’s psychological state may be strongly related to one’s willingness to be vaccinated. This study investigated the relationship between the psychological state of Japanese university students and their willingness to be vaccinated. A self-report questionnaire on COVID-19, its vaccines (vaccination status, and perceived efficacy and safety), and psychological state (anxiety and depressive mood) was administered online, and 560 valid responses were obtained. The unvaccinated group reported significantly lower perceived vaccine effectiveness and importance than the vaccinated group. However, there were no differences in anxiety and depressive mood symptoms between the two groups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed on the unvaccinated participants to identify the factors associated with their unwillingness to be vaccinated; there was a significant association between anxiety and unwillingness to receive the vaccine (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between depressive mood and unwillingness to receive the vaccine. The results suggest that timely psychological support for Japanese university students experiencing high levels of anxiety is important in accelerating vaccination programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Vaccine Hesitancy in Central Texas Immediately Prior to COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010368 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 845
Abstract
Vaccine-induced herd immunity remains the best opportunity for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. However, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a real concern. In this paper, we report on vaccine hesitancy in Central Texas immediately prior to the release of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in [...] Read more.
Vaccine-induced herd immunity remains the best opportunity for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. However, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a real concern. In this paper, we report on vaccine hesitancy in Central Texas immediately prior to the release of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in late December 2020. A total of 1648 individuals 18 years or older with health insurance living in Central Texas completed a survey on sociodemographic factors and plans to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. Of the respondents, 64.1% planned to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. Logistic regression identified the following sociodemographic factors associated with vaccine hesitancy: Black or African American race (POR: 0.351, p < 0.001, 95% CI: 0.211, 0.584), female sex (POR: 0.650, p < 0.001, 95% CI: 0.518, 0.816), age of 35–49 years old (POR: 0.689, p = 0.004, 95% CI: 0.534, 0.890), annual household income of less than US$10,000 (POR: 0.565, p = 0.041, 95% CI: 0.327, 0.976), a high school education or less (POR: 0.565, p = 0.001, 95% CI: 0.401, 0.795), and a high school education but less than a 4-year college degree (POR: 0.572, p < 0.001, 95% CI: 0.442, 0.739). Real-world evidence provided by individuals on plans to get vaccinated can reveal COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy associated heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Does the COVID-19 Vaccine Still Work That “Most of the Confirmed Cases Had Been Vaccinated”? A Content Analysis of Vaccine Effectiveness Discussion on Sina Weibo during the Outbreak of COVID-19 in Nanjing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010241 - 26 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
In July 2021, breakthrough cases were reported in the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nanjing, sparking concern and discussion about the vaccine’s effectiveness and becoming a trending topic on Sina Weibo. In order to explore public attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine and their emotional [...] Read more.
In July 2021, breakthrough cases were reported in the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nanjing, sparking concern and discussion about the vaccine’s effectiveness and becoming a trending topic on Sina Weibo. In order to explore public attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine and their emotional orientations, we collected 1542 posts under the trending topic through data mining. We set up four categories of attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines, and used a big data analysis tool to code and manually checked the coding results to complete the content analysis. The results showed that 45.14% of the Weibo posts (n = 1542) supported the COVID-19 vaccine, 12.97% were neutral, and 7.26% were doubtful, which indicated that the public did not question the vaccine’s effectiveness due to the breakthrough cases in Nanjing. There were 66.47% posts that reflected significant negative emotions. Among these, 50.44% of posts with negative emotions were directed towards the media, 25.07% towards the posting users, and 11.51% towards the public, which indicated that the negative emotions were not directed towards the COVID-19 vaccine. External sources outside the vaccine might cause vaccine hesitancy. Public opinions expressed in online media reflect the public’s cognition and attitude towards vaccines and their core needs in terms of information. Therefore, online public opinion monitoring could be an essential way to understand the opinions and attitudes towards public health issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Early Skepticism, Misinformation and Informational Needs among Essential Workers in the USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413244 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1458
Abstract
This study presents the results of a survey of 1591 hesitant U.S. essential workers, conducted over Pollfish in December 2020 when they were the only group eligible for the vaccine, aiming to describe their concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccine safety, effectiveness and distribution policies. [...] Read more.
This study presents the results of a survey of 1591 hesitant U.S. essential workers, conducted over Pollfish in December 2020 when they were the only group eligible for the vaccine, aiming to describe their concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccine safety, effectiveness and distribution policies. We computed frequencies using the SAS software for each answer, using chi-squared statistics and Cochran–Armitage trend tests to determine how informational needs differ by age, gender, level of education, race, source of COVID-19 information and levels of vaccine acceptance. The results of this study show that freedom of choice, equal access to the vaccine and being able to live a life with no restrictions once vaccinated were important concerns since the early days of the distribution campaign, with 53% (836/1591), 42% (669/1591) and 35% (559/1591) of hesitant respondents, respectively, indicating they would be more likely to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they felt these issues were satisfactorily addressed. Early risk communication and immunization campaign strategies should address not only the reported efficacy and safety of new vaccines, but, as equally important, the population’s perceptions and beliefs regarding personal choice, effectiveness and adverse consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
Caregiver Willingness to Vaccinate Their Children against COVID-19 after Adult Vaccine Approval
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910224 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
Vaccines against COVID-19 are likely to be approved for children under 12 years in the near future. Understanding vaccine hesitancy in parents is essential for reaching herd immunity. A cross-sectional survey of caregivers in 12 emergency departments (ED) was undertaken in the U.S., [...] Read more.
Vaccines against COVID-19 are likely to be approved for children under 12 years in the near future. Understanding vaccine hesitancy in parents is essential for reaching herd immunity. A cross-sectional survey of caregivers in 12 emergency departments (ED) was undertaken in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. We compared reported willingness to vaccinate children against COVID-19 with an initial survey and post-adult COVID-19 vaccine approval. Multivariable logistic regression models were performed for all children and for those <12 years. A total of 1728 and 1041 surveys were completed in phases 1 and 2, respectively. Fewer caregivers planned to vaccinate against COVID-19 in phase 2 (64.5% and 59.7%, respectively; p = 0.002). The most significant positive predictor of willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 was if the child was vaccinated per recommended local schedules. Fewer caregivers plan to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, despite vaccine approval for adults, compared to what was reported at the peak of the pandemic. Older caregivers who fully vaccinated their children were more likely to adopt vaccinating children. This study can inform target strategy design to implement adherence to a vaccination campaign. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
Article
To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate—This Is the Question among Swiss University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179210 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
The speed and innovation of the COVID-19 vaccine development has been accompanied by insecurity and skepticism. Young adults’ attitude to vaccination remains under investigation, although herd immunity cannot be reached without them. The HEalth in Students during the Corona pandemic study (HES-C) provided [...] Read more.
The speed and innovation of the COVID-19 vaccine development has been accompanied by insecurity and skepticism. Young adults’ attitude to vaccination remains under investigation, although herd immunity cannot be reached without them. The HEalth in Students during the Corona pandemic study (HES-C) provided the opportunity to investigate vaccination intention in 1478 students in the sixth survey wave (January 2021), including vaccination intention, psychological antecedents of vaccine hesitancy, trust in government’s vaccination strategy, and vaccination history. Associations with vaccination intention were analyzed with multivariate ordinal regression and predicted margins were calculated adjusting for gender, age, anxiety, health profession, and subjective health status. A third was decided (yes 25.1%, no 7.6%), and 68% were unsure about getting the COVID-19 vaccine when available. Next to demographic characteristics, vaccination history (influenza vaccination OR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.06–1.83, travel vaccination OR = 1.29; 95% CI: 1.04–1.60), trust in vaccination strategy (OR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.89–3.05), and 5C dimensions were associated with vaccination intention: confidence (OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 2.09–3.03), complacency (OR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.66–0.96), calculation (OR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.70–0.89), constraints (OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 0.99–1.41), and collective responsibility (OR = 4.47; 95% CI: 3.69–5.40). Addressing psychological antecedents and strengthening trust in official strategies through targeted campaigns and interventions may increase decisiveness and result in higher vaccination rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Article
“The Risk Seems Too High”: Thoughts and Feelings about COVID-19 Vaccination
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8690; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168690 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2065
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to describe the thoughts and feelings of individuals expressing concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in order to examine the thoughts and feelings of participants who are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to describe the thoughts and feelings of individuals expressing concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine. A qualitative descriptive study was conducted in order to examine the thoughts and feelings of participants who are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine. Data were collected from 754 participants using an online instrument. Emergent themes included a lack of knowledge about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine; concerns over the speed of development, testing, and approval of these vaccines; reluctance to be among the first vaccinated; concerns about the motivations of government actors, pharmaceutical companies, and others involved in producing the COVID-19 vaccine; and hesitancy about vaccines generally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
Communication
Factors Associated with Intention to Receive Vaccination against COVID-19 in Puerto Rico: An Online Survey of Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157743 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
We conducted an online survey among adults in Puerto Rico to identify factors associated with the intention to receive vaccination against COVID-19. Sociodemographic variables were analyzed independently for association with intent to receive vaccination. Significant associations were included in the multivariate logistic regression [...] Read more.
We conducted an online survey among adults in Puerto Rico to identify factors associated with the intention to receive vaccination against COVID-19. Sociodemographic variables were analyzed independently for association with intent to receive vaccination. Significant associations were included in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. A total of 1016 responses were available for analysis. In the bivariate analysis, younger age, higher education, pre-COVID-19 employment, male sex, gay/bisexual identity, and single marital status were associated with increased intent to receive the vaccination. In the multivariate logistic regression, younger, male respondents, and those with higher educational attainment reported higher intent to receive the vaccination. Lower-income and living outside the San Juan metro region were associated with lower intent to receive the vaccination. National and international health organizations were identified as the most reliable sources of information, followed by healthcare professionals. These findings highlight the importance of considering sociodemographic characteristics and using trusted sources of information when designing COVID-19 vaccination public messaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)

Review

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Review
What Demographic, Social, and Contextual Factors Influence the Intention to Use COVID-19 Vaccines: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9342; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179342 - 04 Sep 2021
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3504
Abstract
Background: During the COVID-19 crisis, an apparent growth in vaccine hesitancy has been noticed due to different factors and reasons. Therefore, this scoping review was performed to determine the prevalence of intention to use COVID-19 vaccines among adults aged 18–60, and to identify [...] Read more.
Background: During the COVID-19 crisis, an apparent growth in vaccine hesitancy has been noticed due to different factors and reasons. Therefore, this scoping review was performed to determine the prevalence of intention to use COVID-19 vaccines among adults aged 18–60, and to identify the demographic, social, and contextual factors that influence the intention to use COVID-19 vaccines. Methods: This scoping review was conducted by using the methodological framework for scoping review outlined by Arksey and O’Malley. A search strategy was carried out on four electronic databases: PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. All peer-reviewed articles published between November 2019 and December 2020 were reviewed. Data were extracted to identify the prevalence of, and factors that influence, the intention to use COVID-19 vaccines. Results: A total of 48 relevant articles were identified for inclusion in the review. Outcomes presented fell into seven themes: demographics, social factors, vaccination beliefs and attitudes, vaccine-related perceptions, health-related perceptions, perceived barriers, and vaccine recommendations. Age, gender, education level, race/ethnicity, vaccine safety and effectiveness, influenza vaccination history, and self-protection from COVID-19 were the most prominent factors associated with intention to use COVID-19 vaccines. Furthermore, the majority of studies (n = 34/48) reported a relatively high prevalence of intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with a range from 60% to 93%. Conclusion: This scoping review enables the creation of demographic, social, and contextual constructs associated with intention to vaccinate among the adult population. These factors are likely to play a major role in any targeted vaccination programs, particularly COVID-19 vaccination. Thus, our review suggests focusing on the development of strategies to promote the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to overcome vaccine hesitancy and refusal. These strategies could include transparent communication, social media engagement, and the initiation of education programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Review
Predictors of Vaccine Hesitancy: Implications for COVID-19 Public Health Messaging
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158054 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4857
Abstract
Objectives: Successful immunization programs require strategic communication to increase confidence among individuals who are vaccine-hesitant. This paper reviews research on determinants of vaccine hesitancy with the objective of informing public health responses to COVID-19. Method: A literature review was conducted using a broad [...] Read more.
Objectives: Successful immunization programs require strategic communication to increase confidence among individuals who are vaccine-hesitant. This paper reviews research on determinants of vaccine hesitancy with the objective of informing public health responses to COVID-19. Method: A literature review was conducted using a broad search strategy. Articles were included if they were published in English and relevant to the topic of demographic and individual factors associated with vaccine hesitancy. Results and Discussion: Demographic determinants of vaccine hesitancy that emerged in the literature review were age, income, educational attainment, health literacy, rurality, and parental status. Individual difference factors included mistrust in authority, disgust sensitivity, and risk aversion. Conclusion: Meeting target immunization rates will require robust public health campaigns that speak to individuals who are vaccine-hesitant in their attitudes and behaviours. Based on the assortment of demographic and individual difference factors that contribute to vaccine hesitancy, public health communications must pursue a range of strategies to increase public confidence in available COVID-19 vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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Other

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Brief Report
COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Social Networks: Does It Influence Vaccine Hesitancy?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9448; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189448 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine Hesitancy and COVID-19)
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