Journal article

Willingness to vaccinate against Covid-19 : a qualitative study involving older adults from Southern Switzerland

  • Fadda, Marta Institute of Public Health (IPH), Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
  • Suggs, L. Suzanne Institute of Public Health (IPH), Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
  • Albanese, Emiliano Institute of Public Health (IPH), Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
Published in:
  • Vaccine: X. - Elsevier. - 2021, vol. 8, p. 7
English Background: The Covid-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption and suffering to people across the globe, with a disproportionate toll on the elderly. The development and equitable distribution of a vaccine seems to be the most promising and sustainable route ahead. The goal of this study was to explore older adults’ attitudes towards and beliefs regarding the Covid-19 vaccination in Southern Switzerland. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study employing telephone interviews to understand older adults’ attitudes towards and beliefs about the Covid-19 vaccine. No Covid-19 vaccine had yet been approved at the moment of data collection. A convenience and snowball sample of 19 participants was recruited. Participants had to be at least 65 years old, without any hearing impairments, and be resident in the Canton of Ticino. Results: Most participants were women (n = 12), Swiss nationals (n = 14), retired (n = 18), resident in urban areas (n = 14), and had obtained a secondary school degree (n = 14). The average age was 75 (SD = 6.04; range = 64–85). We found that the majority of participants were in favor of the vaccination and highlighted its positive consequences, such as the abandonment of current freedom-limiting protective measures. Those participants who were against or unsure about the vaccination had concerns regarding the novelty of the vaccine and its impact on its safety and efficacy, stated they would prefer other protective measures rather than the vaccination, and identified contextual and individual drivers of their concerns. Conclusions: Independently from the outbreak’s trajectory, efforts to foster vaccination acceptance should focus on the benefit of relapsing freedom-limiting protective measures. Vaccination strategies should be grounded in an evidence-based, participatory approach, ongoing community engagement, trust- building activities, and communication about vaccine developments and how the vaccine will be combined with other outbreak response measures.
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