A Cross-Sectional Study to Identify Factors for Vaccination Uptake Amongst University Staff and Students in Northern Ireland

Ruth D. Neill, Eimear Mooney, Le Roy Dowey, Mark Tully

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Abstract

With the increased uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination in 2021, universities resumed face-to-face classes and clinical placements. However, even with incentives, some individuals chose not to receive a vaccination due to personal beliefs and other reasons. Understanding motivations for vaccination uptake or vaccine hesitancy is important to help develop future public health strategies. Therefore, a cross-sectional online survey was carried out among students and staff in a UK university to assess the level of vaccination and explore their views on the acceptability of incentives that may encourage uptake. Almost three quarters (74.4%) of the sample had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine with a higher proportion of staff receiving a vaccine compared to students (80.0% vs. 70.6%, p < 0.001). Vaccine hesitancy or refusal was due to the perceived lack of research and knowledge of the potential long-term effects at the time of vaccination, religious, personal and ethical beliefs and feeling like vaccinations should not be used to restrict social events, travel and medical challenges. This study shows that university staff and students had a relatively high uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination. However, the findings indicate that nearly 20 percent were unsure or unwilling to take the vaccination, therefore suggesting that clearer information and motivational strategies are needed to support the roll out of new vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3(2)
Pages (from-to)206-220
Number of pages15
JournalHygiene
Volume3
Issue number2
Early online date30 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 30 May 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • university students
  • vaccine motivations

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