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Measuring vaccine hesitancy, confidence, trust and flu vaccine uptake: Results of a national survey of White and African American adults

Quinn, Sandra Crouse, Jamison, Amelia M., An, Ji, Hancock, Gregory R., Freimuth, Vicki S.
Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.9 pp. 1168-1173
African Americans, White Americans, adults, children, influenza vaccines, models, national surveys, United States
Vaccine hesitancy (VH) has emerged as a factor in vaccine delay and refusal yet the measurement of the constructs within vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge. Outstanding questions include; should VH be measured as an attitude or a behavior? What is the role of key constructs including confidence, complacency, and convenience? What is the role of trust? Should measures be general or vaccine specific? Furthermore, much of the research has centered on parental acceptance of vaccines for their children.In March of 2015, we contracted with the GfK Group to conduct a nationally representative survey with 819 African American and 838 White, US born adults. Measures include general vaccine hesitancy and confidence, trust, and influenza vaccine specific measures of hesitancy, confidence and trust.Factor analysis yielded a bi-factor structure for both general vaccine hesitancy and flu vaccine specific hesitancy. Greater hesitancy, both in general and specific to the flu vaccine, was associated with lower vaccine uptake. In the flu vaccine specific model, greater confidence was associated with higher vaccine uptake. Trust remained distinct from vaccine confidence in both the general and flu vaccine specific models.Clearly, there is value in the utilization of general vaccine hesitancy and confidence measures, as well as vaccine specific measures. Trust continues to provide additional insights apart of vaccine confidence and remains an important factor for inclusion in future research. Our set of measures can be tested and validated with other populations and applied to other vaccines for adults and children.