ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0283.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Government Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy; Misinformation; Government Actions; Communication
Online: 21 March 2022 (10:29:33 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the adverse consequences created by an infodemic specifically on compliance with public health guidance and vaccine uptake. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a complex construct that is related to health beliefs, misinformation exposure, and perceptions of governmental institutions. This study draws on theoretical models and current data on the COVID-19 infodemic to explore the association between perceived risk of COVID-19, levels of misinformation endorsement, and opinions about the government response on vaccine uptake. We surveyed a sample of 2,697 respondents from the US, Canada, and Italy using a mobile platform between 21-28 May, 2021. Using multivariate regression, we found that country of residence, risk perception of contracting and spreading COVID-19, perception of government response and transparency, and misinformation endorsement was associated with the odds of vaccine hesitancy. Higher perceived risk was associated with lower odds of hesitancy, while lower perceptions of government response, and higher misinformation endorsement were associated with higher hesitancy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0087.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine freedom
Online: 4 November 2022 (04:12:38 CET)
Despite the availability of effective vaccines that lower mortality and morbidity associated with COVID-19, many countries including Italy adopted strict vaccination policies and mandates to increase the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Such mandates have sparked debates on the freedom to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. In this study, we examined the people’s belief in vaccine choice as a predictor of willingness to get vaccinated among a sample of unvaccinated individuals in Italy. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in Italy in May 2021. The survey collected data on respondents’ demographics and region of residence, socioeconomic factors, belief in the freedom to choose to be vaccinated or not, risk perception of contracting and transmitting the disease, previous vaccine refusal, opinion on adequacy of government measures to address the pandemic, experience in requesting and being denied government aid during the pandemic, and intent to accept COVID-19 vaccination. The analysis employed binary logistic regression models using a hierarchical model building approach to assess the association between intent to accept vaccination and belief in the freedom to choose to vaccinate, while adjusting for other variables of interest. 984 unvaccinated individuals were included in the study. Respondents who agreed that people should be free to decide whether or not to vaccinate with no restrictions on their personal life had 85% lower odds of vaccine acceptance (OR=0.15 ;95% CI,0.09,0.23) after adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors and their risk perception of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. Belief in the freedom to choose whether or not to accept vaccinations was a major predictor of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among a sample of unvaccinated individuals in Italy in May 2021. This understanding of how individuals prioritize personal freedoms and the perceived benefits and risks of vaccines, when making health care decisions can inform the development of public health outreach, educational programs and messaging.