Beliefs regarding COVID-19 vaccinations of young adults in the United Kingdom: Exposure to magnetic fields and childhood leukemia: ≈

Ilja van Bergen, Sophie Böger, Charlotte Beaudart, Mickaël Hiligsmann, Kei Long Cheung

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Introduction Young adults are considered one of the most hesitant groups towards getting vaccinated in the UK, which threatens the success of the vaccination program in ending the pandemic. Identifying and understanding the socio-cognitive beliefs is important to effectively design and implement health communication interventions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the underlying beliefs regarding COVID-19 vaccinations among young adults in the UK. Methods The study consisted of online, one-on-one interviews with 18 individuals (6 males, 12 females) aged between 18 and 29 years, conducted in June 2021. The guiding theoretical framework was the I-Change Model. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were independently coded by two researchers by using the constructs of the I-Change Model. Belief statements were elicited from the codes and the frequency of belief statements was recorded and compared between intenders and non-intenders. Results Similar beliefs were observed in intenders and non-intenders for most constructs of the I-Change Model. However, non-intenders distinguished themselves from intenders by their higher perceived risks of side effects and higher perceived disadvantages of being vaccinated. Non-intenders expressed the belief that the risk of unknown or long-term side effects, such as blood clotting and impact on fertility, were the main reason for them not to be willing to vaccinate. In addition, in both groups, participants had mostly similar beliefs as their friends and family. Conclusion This research provides insights in the specific beliefs of the young adult population of the UK regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, which could have implications for health communication interventions. The findings suggest that such interventions should focus on reducing the uncertainty regarding short- and long-term effects and potentially having a focus on the entire social environment of young adults.

langue originaleAnglais
Numéro d'articlee0277109
journalPLoS ONE
Numéro de publication12 December
Les DOIs
Etat de la publicationPublié - déc. 2022
Modification externeOui

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