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To lessen the impact of negative health outcomes associated with COVID-19, effective vaccines have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for those 16 years and older and Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status for those 12-15 years old. Several studies have identified factors associated with intention to receive a vaccine within the general population such as gender, race, perceiving potential side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine, and mistrust of the government. However, there are limited studies assessing modifiable factors specifically among adolescents and young adults’ intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The study aim was to determine characteristics and attitudes, among a group of adolescents and young adults, associated with intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The study population was comprised of adolescents (12-17 years old) and young adults (18-25 years old) seeking primary care at a large Midwest academic medical center serving a racially and ethnically diverse community. In January 2021, potential participants were sent an email with a link to an online survey and all responses to the survey were included in the analysis. The survey included multiple items including assessment of the participants’ beliefs about COVID and vaccines against the infection as well as beliefs about vaccines in general. Survey results were analyzed using separate multivariable logistic regression analyses with stepwise variable selection to determine characteristics and attitudes associated with intent of participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
A total of 585 people (n = 248 adolescents and n = 337 young adults) responded to the survey. The mean age of adolescents was 14.8 years (SD = 1.8) vs 20.4 years (SD = 2.0) for young adults. Of the respondents, 60.1% (n = 149) of adolescents and 65.6% (n = 221) of young adults stated they intended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. For both adolescents and young adults, positive attitudes towards vaccines in general (AOR = 3.55, 95% CI: 2.17-5.80 for adolescents; AOR = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.19-1.64 for young adult; p < 0.001 for both groups), and perceiving the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe (AOR = 1.54, 95% CI: 1.32-1.81 for adolescents; AOR = 7.29, 95% CI: 3.79-14.02 for young adults; p < 0.001 for both groups) were associated with an intent to be vaccinated against COVID. In addition, knowing enough about the COVID-19 vaccine to make a decision (AOR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.44-3.38, p<0.001) was associated with intent to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for young adults.
Positive attitudes about vaccines in general and perceiving the vaccine to be safe were factors associated with both adolescents and young adults’ intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This study identifies potential modifiable factors which may lead to an increase adolescents and young adults’ intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sources of Support
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Adolescent and Transition Medicine Pilot Funds (Rosen, PI).