Factors Associated with COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Patricia Soares, João Victor Rocha, Marta Moniz, Ana Gama, Pedro Almeida Laires, Ana Rita Pedro, Sónia Dias, Andreia Leite, Carla Nunes
Vaccines 2021 March 22, 9 (3)
It is critical to develop tailored strategies to increase acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine and decrease hesitancy. Hence, this study aims to assess and identify factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Portugal. We used data from a community-based survey, "COVID-19 Barometer: Social Opinion", which includes data regarding intention to take COVID-19 vaccines, health status, and risk perception in Portugal from September 2020 to January 2021. We used multinomial regression to identify factors associated with intention to delay or refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Portugal was high: 56% would wait and 9% refuse. Several factors were associated with both refusal and delay: being younger, loss of income during the pandemic, no intention of taking the flu vaccine, low confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and the health service response during the pandemic, worse perception of government measures, perception of the information provided as inconsistent and contradictory, and answering the questionnaire before the release of information regarding the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. It is crucial to build confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine as its perceived safety and efficacy were strongly associated with intention to take the vaccine. Governments and health authorities should improve communication and increase trust.

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