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How Political Ideology and Media Shaped Vaccination Intention in the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States.

Authors :
Sarathchandra, Dilshani
Johnson-Leung, Jennifer
Source :
COVID. May2024, Vol. 4 Issue 5, p658-671. 14p.
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As a pharmaceutical intervention, vaccines remain a major public health strategy for mitigating the effects of COVID-19. Yet, vaccine intake has been affected by various cognitive and cultural factors. We examine how a selected set of factors (i.e., knowledge, concern, media, peer influence, and demographics) shaped COVID-19 vaccination intention in the early phase of the pandemic (Fall 2020). Using a survey conducted in three US states (Idaho, Texas, and Vermont) just prior to the rollout of the first vaccines against COVID-19, we find that COVID-19 concern was the primary driver of vaccination intention. Concern was shaped mainly by two factors: political ideology and media sources. Yet, ideology and media were much more important in affecting concern for those who leaned politically conservative, as opposed to those who leaned liberal or remained moderate. The results from our structural equation models affirm that the information politically conservative respondents were receiving reinforced the effects of their ideology, leading to a greater reduction in their concern. We discuss the potential implications of these findings for future pandemic preparedness. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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