While public intentions to get a COVID-19 vaccine have been shifting around the world, few studies track factors that help us understand and improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake. This study focuses on identifying changing public intentions to get a COVID-19 vaccine in New Zealand, a country that has been largely successful in containing the pandemic but risks new outbreaks as less than 20% of the population is fully vaccinated by August 2021. Data on COVID-19 intentions were collected just after the vaccine approval and rollout targeting old-age groups in February 2021 and then before the general public rollout in May 2021 (n = 650, 60% reinterview response rate). Results show that intention to get a COVID-19 vaccine increased in three months and was the highest in the last one year. Consistent with the Theory of Planned Behaviour, attitudes and efficacy beliefs were significantly associated with COVID-19 vaccine intentions, in the cross-sectional as well as longitudinal analyses. Findings highlight the persisting influence of attitudes, efficacy beliefs, and past intentions on future decision-making process to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Future research opportunities to understand vaccine intentions and improve public vaccine uptake are highlighted.
Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine intention; New Zealand; behavior change; efficacy; longitudinal data; social norms; theory of planned behaviour; vaccination campaigns; vaccine attitudes; vaccine hesitancy.