Prevalence and determinants of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy in Hong Kong: A population-based survey

Vaccine. 2021 Jun 16;39(27):3602-3607. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.05.036. Epub 2021 May 18.


Background: Although vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the most desired solution to end the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, there are growing concerns that vaccine hesitancy would undermine its potential. We examined the intention to receive vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 and the associated factors in a representative sample of Chinese adults in Hong Kong.

Methods: We did a dual-frame (landline and mobile) cross-sectional survey of a random sample of 1501 Hong Kong residents aged 18 years or older (53.6% females) in April 2020. We collected data on the intention to receive SARS-CoV-2 vaccine when it becomes available (yes/ no/ undecided), knowledge and perceptions of COVID-19, smoking, alcohol drinking, and sociodemographic factors. Prevalence estimates were weighted by the sex, age, and education of the general population of Hong Kong.

Results: Overall, 45.3% (95% CI: 42.3-48.4%) of the participants had intentions to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2 when it becomes available, 29.2% (26.5-32.1%) were undecided, and 25.5% (22.9-28.2%) had no intention. The most common reason for vaccine hesitancy (undecided or no intention) was safety concerns (56.5%). Multivariable partial proportional odds model showed higher vaccine hesitancy in males, younger adults, those with no chronic disease, current smokers, and non-alcohol drinkers. After adjusting for sociodemographic and other factors, inadequate knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 transmission (adjusted ORs ranged from 1.27 to 2.63; P < 0.05) and lower perceived danger of COVID-19 (adjusted ORs ranged from 1.62 to 2.47; P < 0.001) were significantly associated with vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusions: In a representative sample of Chinese adults in Hong Kong, only 45.3% of the participants intended to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2 when available. Vaccine hesitancy was associated with inadequate knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 transmission and lower perceived danger of COVID-19, which needed to be addressed to improve vaccination uptake.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chinese; Coronavirus; Vaccine acceptance; Vaccine hesitancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines