Socio-economic and behavioral characteristics associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy under a declared state of emergency in Japan

Brain Behav Immun Health. 2022 Jul:22:100448. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2022.100448. Epub 2022 Mar 23.

Abstract

Evidence regarding coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination indicates that some people hesitate to be vaccinated, and previous studies demonstrate the variables that influence hesitancy to vaccinate. However, they have not limited the target population to areas where infection is prominent. This study aimed to clarify the characteristics of people living in these areas who hesitate to be vaccinated and recommend effective approaches to encourage vaccination. The survey was conducted online between February 24 and March 1, 2021, during which the 2nd state of emergency was declared in Japan. The analytic sample comprised 17,582 unvaccinated individuals (mean age ​= ​48.6 ​± ​13.8, range ​= ​18-90 years). The t-test results indicate that current or past treatment for physical illness exerted a strong influence on vaccine hesitancy (ds ​= ​0.30). Similarly, multiple regression analyses revealed that understanding the importance and necessity for preventive behaviors had the greatest influence on the intention to vaccinate (β ​= ​0.48). Regarding recommendations to promote willingness to be vaccinated, our findings indicated that clear explanation of the reasons for the necessity for these behaviors and collaboration between representatives of various communities would effectively encourage vaccination.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Vaccination; Vaccine hesitancy.