eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1952
Proceeding cover
of the estonian academy of sciences
ISSN 1736-7530 (Electronic)
ISSN 1736-6046 (Print)
Impact Factor (2022): 0.9
Research article
Relationships between willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19, socioeconomic indicators, choices in health behavior, and health information seeking among Estonians aged ≥ 50; pp. 313–321

Marianne Paimre, Kairi Osula

Vaccination is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to protect oneself against Coronavirus.  Although vaccines for COVID-19 have been proven to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and even death, many people have refused to receive them. To increase vaccination rates and thus minimize other restrictive measures, it is paramount to address the factors related to refusal. The aim of this study was to analyze relationships between vaccination willingness, socioeconomic indicators, self-reported health status, choices in health behavior, and health information (HI) seeking among Estonians aged 50 and above. As today’s information and communication technologies (ICT) are widely used in receiving health information, the authors were also interested in older adults’ acceptance of ICT for health purposes. A cross-sectional survey was conducted one month after the first lockdown ended in the summer of 2020. According to the results, 268 (53.5%) respondents agreed to vaccinate, 153 (30.5%) expressed skepticism, and 80 (16%) were against it. Being male and having a higher education level significantly affected vaccination readiness. The more often the respondent felt the need for HI and the more recently they had searched the internet for HI, the more they agreed to be vaccinated and vice versa (rho = 0.14, p < 0.05). A weak positive correlation (rho = 0.25, p < 0.01) emerged between vaccination readiness and the need for a digital health application: the more such an application was needed, the more people agreed to be vaccinated. Those interested in vaccination tended to use a wider range of HI sources than the uninterested and hesitant respondents. The difference was statistically significant, p < 0.05, F (2498) = 3.52, η2 = 0.014. The willingness to get vaccinated was not increased by better health behavior choices (e.g., eating healthier and exercising more). There was also no connection between health status and vaccination readiness. The differences regarding people aged 50 years and older should be considered when planning health campaigns and vaccinations.


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