Researchers at the University of California, Davis has reported that many Americans are not eager at getting a COVID-19 vaccination to inhibit the risk of contagion.
Detailed in the journal Vaccine, about 800 American adult participants took part in a series of online surveys. Respondents were instructed to express their intention of receiving a vaccination for SARS-CoV-2.
The survey included assessments based on the participants’ general knowledge of vaccinations, any indication of conspiratorial beliefs, and the media literacy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the UC Davis team, there were several factors that contributed to vaccine hesitancy – most notably, mass media intake and political misinformation yielded the strongest influence.
In essence, the findings showed that older white males, arising from higher socioeconomic status, were more likely to receive a vaccination for COVID-19.
Interestingly enough, individuals who identified with beliefs instilled by the Democratic party, were also more likely to vaccinate, compared to their Republican counterparts. The reason for this, researchers indicated, was potentially due to right-wing media and its spread of misinformation. Foreign influence may also play a role in the onset of medical misinformation.
“COVID-19 vaccination intentions were weak, with 14.8% of respondents being unlikely to get vaccinated and another 23.0% unsure,” the study found.
“Intent to vaccinate was highest for men, older people, individuals who identified as white and non-Hispanic, the affluent and college-educated, Democrats, those who were married or partnered, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and those vaccinated against influenza during the 2019–2020 flu season.”
“Demographic characteristics, vaccine knowledge, perceived vulnerability to COVID-19, risk factors for COVID-19, and politics likely contribute to vaccination hesitancy,” researchers concluded.