Why do Hong Kong parents have low intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19? Testing health belief model and theory of planned behavior in a large-scale survey

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Abstract

COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in children in some societies. Parents’ intention to vaccinate their children is context-specific. Drawing upon health belief model (HBM) and theory of planned behavior (TPB), this study contributed to a timely topic by examining the extent to which parents intended to vaccinate their children and its associated factors in Hong Kong, where the government announced children as young as five could take COVID-19 vaccines starting from 21 January 2022. A large-scale, online survey was conducted among 11,141 Hong Kong parents (86% mothers) of children aged 5–12 (N = 14,468, 49.5% girls). They reported on measures that assessed HBM constructs (i.e., perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and cues to action), TPB constructs (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control), and their intention to vaccinate each of their children. Results of descriptive statistics showed that Hong Kong parents’ intention to vaccinate their children was very low (1.55 out of 5.00). Multilevel regression showed that after controlling for parents’ and children’s demographic variables (e.g., sex and age), parents’ intention to vaccinate their children was higher if parents had higher levels of perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits, positive attitudes, and subjective norms and if they had lower levels of perceived barriers. Positive attitudes were the strongest correlate of parents’ intention. These findings have important implications for public health by informing which factors authorities should address in order to boost Hong Kong parents’ intention to vaccinate their children. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2772-2780
JournalVaccine
Volume40
Issue number19
Early online dateMar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Apr 2022

Citation

Li, J.-B., Lau, E. Y. H., & Chan, D. K. C. (2022). Why do Hong Kong parents have low intention to vaccinate their children against COVID-19? Testing health belief model and theory of planned behavior in a large-scale survey. Vaccine, 40(19), 2772-2780. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.03.040

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Vaccination
  • Children
  • Hong Kong
  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Health belief model

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