Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected general vaccination hesitancy? Findings from a national study

Annie Laurie McRee, Amy L. Gower, Dale E. Kiss, Paul L. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Extensive media coverage and potential controversy about COVID-19 vaccination during the pandemic may have affected people’s general attitudes towards vaccination. We sought to describe key psychological antecedents related to vaccination and assess how these vary temporally in relationship to the pandemic and availability of COVID-19 vaccination. As part of an ongoing online study, we recruited a national (U.S.) sample of young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (N = 1,227) between October 2019 and June 2021, and assessed the “4Cs” (antecedents of vaccination; range = 1–5). Overall, men had high levels of confidence (trust in vaccines; M = 4.13), calculation (deliberation; M = 3.97) and collective responsibility (protecting others; M = 4.05) and low levels of complacency (not perceiving disease risk; M = 1.72). In multivariable analyses, confidence and collective responsibility varied relative to the pandemic phase/vaccine availability, reflecting greater hesitancy during later stages of the pandemic. Antecedents also varied by demographic characteristics. Findings suggest negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on key antecedents of general vaccination and identify potential targets for interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R37CA226682. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.


  • COVID-19
  • Gay and sexual
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine confidence
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Young adults

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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