Willingness to vaccinate based on trust in various sources

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

American Public Health Association 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

Conference Location

Denver, CO and Virtual


Background: With outbreaks of COVID-19 on college campuses and spilling into nearby communities posing a threat to containment of the pandemic, understanding college students’ sources of information about vaccination is imperative.
Methods: Undergraduate students in an epidemiology course conducted a cross-sectional study in October 2020 to assess attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine (n=402). Regression analyses were used to examine the association between willingness to get a vaccine and trust in different sources of information about the vaccine by demographic factors.
Results: Among this highly diverse population, 55% were willing to get vaccinated and 83% would vaccinate if it were required for work or school. Black, Latinx and Multiracial participants were less likely to trust doctors, family or friends, news media, President Trump, federal public health officials, and local government officials to provide accurate information about the vaccine compared to Whites and Asians. We observed few differences in sources of trust between those born in the U.S. and those not born in the U.S. Adjusting for race, women reported less trust than men in doctors and news media. Higher levels of trust in local and federal public health officials and in the news media was associated with more willingness to get vaccinated.
Conclusion: Since this study was conducted, Emergency Use Authorization has been granted to three COVID-19 vaccines and studies demonstrate increasing willingness to be vaccinated among most groups. Understanding the relative degree of trust in different sources to provide accurate information about these vaccines may improve vaccination uptake.


Public Health and Recreation