Young adult vaccine attitudes: Does employment status matter?

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

American Public Health Association 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

Conference Location

Denver, CO and Virtual


Background: Vaccination is key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment industry mandates may influence vaccine uptake. This research explores whether employment industries influence young adults’ willingness to get vaccinated.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among young adults ages 18-25 in California in October 2020. The survey assessed employment status, employment sector, and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination.
Results: Among the 360 young adult respondents, 216 were employed in a range of industries including healthcare (22.2%), retail (16.2%), food and agriculture (14.4%), education (18.1%), and other (29.2%). Attitudes towards vaccination were varied with 22.6% stating they would definitely get the vaccine, 32.7% probably would, 31% probably would not, and 13.7% definitely would not get the vaccine. A chi-squared test showed no association between employment industry and overall willingness to vaccinate, however, there were different patterns in the level of willingness by industry.
Conclusion: These data were collected prior to Emergency Use Authorization of three COVID-19 vaccines and mass vaccination programs across the country. In California, these programs have distributed vaccines by sector, with healthcare workers being the first offered the vaccine. Young adults in each sector play an important role in ending the pandemic because they are often asymptomatic. Understanding whether attitudes have changed since vaccination became available is critical to ending the pandemic.


Public Health and Recreation