Factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine intentions during the COVID-19 pandemic; a systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies

Emily Terry , Sapphire Cartledge, Sarah Damery, Sheila Greenfield

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A high COVID-19 vaccine uptake is essential to achieve herd immunity to combat the current strain of COVID-19 and potential future variants. This review aimed to identify factors associated with public intention to receive COVID-19 vaccines until February 2021 to provide accessible data to policymakers to inform framing and targeting of messages designed to optimise vaccine uptake.

Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Sociological Abstracts and Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts were searched for cross-sectional studies reporting data regarding COVID-19 vaccine intentions, published between 01/01/2020 and 12/02/2021. Title/abstract and full-text screening were performed independently by two authors. The Appraisal Tool for Cross-sectional Studies (AXIS) was used to assess bias and quality. Both random-effects meta-analysis and narrative synthesis were used to describe vaccine intentions and associated factors. A subgroup analysis assessing the impact of sex, sampling method and time of survey on COVID-19 vaccine intention was performed.

Searches identified 4739 studies, and 23 cross-sectional studies were deemed eligible for the review; 22 used online surveys and one used a mixed-methods study design. Eighteen surveys were conducted in the first half of 2020 and five were conducted in the latter half of 2020. Fifteen countries were represented, with the most common being the United States (n = 4) and the United Kingdom (n = 4) sampling 41,403 participants across all surveys. Most studies employed convenience sampling and 11 non-responder rates raised concerns over non-response bias. From the 18 studies included in the meta-analysis, the pooled proportion of survey participants willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was 73.3% (n = 18, 95% Confidence Interval 64.2 to 81.5%, I2 = 99.7%). Factors associated with a higher COVID-19 vaccine acceptance included greater perceived risk of COVID-19, lower level of perceived vaccine harm, higher educational attainment and household income, older age, being of White ethnicity and male sex.

There was a high willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine which was influenced by sociodemographic factors and risk perceptions. The findings suggest future research should explore reasoning behind vaccine intentions for different sociodemographic groups to allow targeted communication strategies to be formulated by public health agencies.

PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42021239134.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1667
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022


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