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The dimensionality of vaccination intentions: One strain or multiple strains?

OBJECTIVE: People likely have different attitudes toward different vaccines (e.g., they may hold a positive attitude toward the measles, mumps, and rubella-vaccine while simultaneously hold a neutral attitude toward the flu shot). To examine the dimensionality of vaccination intentions, we measured vaccination intentions toward 16 different diseases. We hypothesized that people differentiate between child-directed vaccination intentions and self-directed vaccination intentions. Furthermore, we hypothesized that some commonly studied factors (e.g., trust in authorities and fear of needles) might have different associations with the two subtypes of vaccination intentions.

METHOD: We used data from a nationally representative sample of the Netherlands collected in 2021. We used exploratory ( N = 865) and confirmatory factor analysis ( N = 865) to evaluate the dimensionality hypothesis and used linear hypothesis tests ( N = 1,779) to test whether the commonly studied factors had different associations with the different subtypes of vaccination intentions.

RESULTS: The analysis showed two distinct factors of vaccination intentions: intentions toward childhood diseases and intentions toward nonchildhood diseases. Additionally, spiritual beliefs, trust in authorities, and belief in conspiracy theories had stronger associations with nonchildhood diseases than with childhood diseases. Fear of needles, prosocial personality, and religious orthodox beliefs did not have different associations with both types of vaccination intentions.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that vaccination intentions is a multidimensional construct and that interventions may benefit from being tailored to the factors relevant for each specific type of vaccine. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

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