The Impact of Health Information Exposure and Source Credibility on COVID-19 Vaccination Intention in Germany

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Apr 28;18(9):4678. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094678.


Due to the novelty and high transmission rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), direct medical countermeasures are urgently needed. Among actions against the further outbreak of COVID-19, vaccination has been considered as a chief candidate. However, the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines has led to concern about their safety and thus to public vaccine hesitancy. Strategic heath communication channels, which are widely used and highly trusted, can contribute to more effective promotions of vaccination intention and to the reduction of misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, this study examines the relationship between the exposure to and credibility of different health information sources and the COVID-19 vaccination intention among 629 German adults. Descriptive statistical analysis and multiple linear regressions are employed to examine the research questions. Results reveal that, aside from reliable information from experts and health authorities, local newspapers also have a positive impact on COVID-19 vaccination intention. However, this effect diminishes to some extent when age is considered. In addition, alternative information sources pose a noticeable threat to COVID-19 vaccination intention. Therefore, a close cooperation between healthcare experts, health authorities, and mass media with regard to information dissemination is conducive for vaccination campaigns and for the fight against misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccines.

Keywords: COVID-19; Germany; exposure to health information sources; health information sources; source credibility; vaccination intention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines*
  • COVID-19*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines

Grant support