The Relationship between Sources of COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Willingness to Be Vaccinated: An Internet-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Japan

Vaccines (Basel). 2022 Jun 29;10(7):1041. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10071041.


Despite considerable interest in the Japanese population in receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 when it first became available, a sizable percentage of people remain unwilling or hesitant to be vaccinated. Concerns among both the vaccinated and the unwilling center on the vaccine's efficacy and its safety. Thus, this study aimed to identify whether the willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccination is related to the sources of information people use to learn about the vaccine. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 800 participants registered in an Internet research panel across Japan who completed a questionnaire on their sources of information about the vaccine, demographics, and vaccination status. Vaccine willingness/hesitancy and refusal were set as dependent variables in the logistic regression analysis, with sources of vaccine information and other socio-demographic variables set as independent variables. The results of the analysis found that the information sources significantly associated with willingness to vaccinate were TV (AOR 2.44 vs. vaccine refusal/hesitation), summary websites of COVID-19 by non-experts (AOR 0.21, vs. vaccine refusal/hesitation), Internet video sites (AOR 0.33, vs. vaccine refusal/hesitation), and the personal websites of doctors (AOR 0.16, vs. vaccine refusal/hesitation). Given the likelihood of misinformation in non-traditional sources of information, it is important that health communications be accurate and persuasive.

Keywords: COVID-19; information sources; misinformation; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine refusal.