Low Prevalence of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Students Across Health Science Disciplines in Texas

Meredith G. Hosek, Autumn B. Chidester, Jonathan Gelfond, Barbara S. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Although the development of COVID-19 vaccines represents a triumph of modern medicine, studies suggest vaccine hesitancy exists among key populations, including healthcare professionals. In December 2020, a large academic medical center offered COVID-19 vaccination to 3439 students in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and other health professions. With limited vaccine hesitancy research in this population, this study evaluates the prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare students, including predictors of hesitancy and top concerns with vaccination. Methods: The authors distributed a cross-sectional survey to all healthcare students (n = 3,439) from 12/17/2020 to 12/23/2020. The survey collected age, sex, perceived risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 without vaccination, perceived impact on health if infected with SARS-CoV-2, vaccine hesitancy, and vaccine concerns. In 2021, logistic regressions identified risk factors associated with hesitancy. Results: The response rate was 30.0% (n = 1030) with median age of 25.0. Of respondents, 19.4% were hesitant to accept COVID-19 vaccination, while 66.6% reported at least one concern with the vaccine. Medical discipline, history of COVID-19 infection, perceived risk of contracting COVID-19, and perceived severity of illness if infected were predictor variables of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (p < 0.05). Age, sex, and exposure to in-person clinical care were not predictive of vaccine hesitancy. Conclusions: Fewer students reported COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy than expected from surveys on the general public and on healthcare workers. Continued research is needed to evaluate shifting attitudes around COVID-19 vaccination among healthcare professionals and students. With COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy a growing concern in young adults, a survey of this size and breadth will be helpful to other academic medical centers interested in vaccinating their students and to persons interested in leveraging predictors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy for targeted intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100154
JournalVaccine: X
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Health occupations students
  • Vaccination refusal
  • Vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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