Barriers and facilitators to COVID-19 vaccine uptake among Australian health professional students during the pandemic: a nationwide study

Yingyan Chen, Roslyn Prichard, Matt Mason, Marion Tower, Peta Anne Zimmerman, Vanessa Sparke, Janice Layh, Ahmed M. Mehdi, Frances Fengzhi Lin

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Abstract

Using a cross-sectional online survey we investigated knowledge, attitudes, and risk perception about COVID-19 vaccination and identified factors influencing vaccine uptake among Australian health professional students from October 2021 to January 2022. We analysed data from 1114 health professional students from 17 Australian universities. Most participants were enrolled in nursing programs (n = 958, 86.8%), and 91.6% (n = 858) of the participants received COVID-19 vaccination. Approximately 27% believed COVID-19 was no more serious than seasonal influenza and that they had a low risk of acquiring COVID-19. Nearly 20% disagreed that COVID-19 vaccines in Australia were safe and perceived they were at higher-risk of acquiring COVID infection than the general population. Higher-risk perception viewing vaccination as their professional responsibility, and vaccine mandate strongly predicted vaccination behaviour. Participants consider COVID-19 information from health professionals, government websites, and World Health Organization as the most trusted information sources. The findings highlight that healthcare decision-makers and university administrators need to monitor students’ hesitancy with vaccination to improve students’ promotion of the vaccination to the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-414
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Volume44
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Health professional students
  • Risk perception
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Vaccine uptake

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