Vaccine. 2023 Mar 10:S0264-410X(23)00255-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.03.008. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The role of vaccine hesitancy on influenza vaccination is not clearly understood. Low influenza vaccination coverage in U.S. adults suggests that a multitude of factors may be responsible for under-vaccination or non-vaccination including vaccine hesitancy. Understanding the role of influenza vaccination hesitancy is important for targeted messaging and intervention to increase influenza vaccine confidence and uptake. The objective of this study was to quantify the prevalence of adult influenza vaccination hesitancy (IVH) and examine association of IVH beliefs with sociodemographic factors and early-season influenza vaccination.
METHODS: A four-question validated IVH module was included in the 2018 National Internet Flu Survey. Weighted proportions and multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify correlates of IVH beliefs.
RESULTS: Overall, 36.9% of adults were hesitant to receive an influenza vaccination; 18.6% expressed concerns about vaccination side effects; 14.8% personally knew someone with serious side effects; and 35.6% reported that their healthcare provider was not the most trusted source of information about influenza vaccinations. Influenza vaccination ranged from 15.3 to 45.2 percentage points lower among adults self-reporting any of the four IVH beliefs. Being female, age 18-49 years, non-Hispanic Black, having high school or lower education, being employed, and not having primary care medical home were associated with hesitancy.
CONCLUSIONS: Among the four IVH beliefs studied, being hesitant to receiving influenza vaccination followed by mistrust of healthcare providers were identified as the most influential hesitancy beliefs. Two in five adults in the United States were hesitant to receive an influenza vaccination, and hesitancy was negatively associated with vaccination. This information may assist with targeted interventions, personalized to the individual, to reduce hesitancy and thus improve influenza vaccination acceptance.