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  1. The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine has been accompanied by increased discussion of vaccine hesitancy. However, it is unclear if there are shared patterns between general vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection, or if these are two different concepts. This study characterized rejection of a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine, and compared patterns of association between general vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection. The survey was conducted online March 20-22, 2020. Participants answered questions on vaccine hesitancy and responded if they would accept the vaccine given different safety and effectiveness profiles. We assessed differences in COVID-19 rejection and general vaccine hesitancy through logistic regressions. Among 713 participants, 33.0% were vaccine hesitant, and 18.4% would reject a COVID-19 vaccine. Acceptance varied by effectiveness profile: 10.2% would reject a 95% effective COVID-19 vaccine, but 32.4% would reject a 50% effective vaccine. Those vaccine hesitant were significantly more likely to reject COVID-19 vaccination [odds ratio (OR): 5.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.39, 9.11]. In multivariable logistic regression models, there were similar patterns for vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection by gender, race/ethnicity, family income, and political affiliation. But the direction of association flipped by urbanicity (P=0.0146, with rural dwellers less likely to be COVID-19 vaccinemore »rejecters but more likely to be vaccine hesitant in general), and age (P=0.0037, with fewer pronounced differences across age for COVID-19 vaccine rejection, but a gradient of stronger vaccine hesitancy in general among younger ages). During the COVID-19 epidemic’s early phase, patterns of vaccine hesitancy and COVID-19 vaccine rejection were relatively similar. A significant minority would reject a COVID-19 vaccine, especially one with less-than-ideal effectiveness. Preparations for introducing the COVID-19 vaccine should anticipate substantial hesitation and target concerns, especially among younger adults.« less
  2. Most research on vaccine hesitancy has focused on parental attitudes toward childhood vaccination, but it will be important to understand dimensions of vaccine hesitancy in the adult population as more adult vaccines are introduced in the future. We modified the Vaccine Hesitancy Scale to target adult vaccines and provide measures of its reliability and validity relative to influenza vaccine uptake and COVID-19 vaccination acceptance in cross-sectional internet surveys in the United States and in China. We assessed the impact of vaccine hesitancy on influenza and COVID-19 vaccination using multivariable regression modeling, which informed concurrent validity of the adult Vaccine Hesitancy Scale (aVHS). Among 1103 participants in the March 2020 China survey, 5.4% would not accept a COVID-19 vaccine, whereas this figure was 18.8% for the March 2020 US survey and 27.3% for the June 2020 US survey. The aVHS exhibits good internal consistency in all three surveys. Models adjusted for age, gender and income level show that prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was a fraction as high in those who scored higher on the VHS than those who scored lower on all three surveys. Prevalence of past and future flu vaccine acceptance was a fraction as high in those withmore »higher aVHS scores than those with lower scores. Prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance is lower in those with higher vaccine hesitancy scores, which supports the scale’s concurrent validity. The aVHS exhibits good internal consistency, making it a valid and reliable tool for measuring vaccination uptake.« less