Who Does Not Want to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19? - An Internet Survey in Japan

Author Name SEKIZAWA Yoichi (Senior Fellow, RIETI) / HASHIMOTO Sora (United Health Communications, Co., Ltd.) / DENDA Kenzo (Hiramatsu Memorial Hospital) / OCHI Sae (Jikei University School of Medicine) / SO Mirai (Tokyo Dental College)
Creation Date/NO. May 2021 21-J-026
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First draft: May 18, 2021
Revised: June 4, 2021


Background: Although it is important for the majority of people to get vaccinated in order to inhibit the spread of the COVID-19, widespread vaccine hesitancy may impede mass vaccination. There is an urgent need to understand which populations are resistant to receiving a vaccine for COVID-19.

Method: An internet surveys was conducted in late April 2021 in Japan. In this survey, unvaccinated participants were asked about their willingness to receive a vaccine, with potential answers of "willing to receive," "not willing to receive," or "not decided." These three answer choices were used as the outcome variable and multinomial logistic regressions were conducted with "willing to receive" as the reference group. Explanatory variables included socioeconomic status, health status including mental health and COVID-19 phobia, and generalized trust.

Results: The number of valid respondents was 11,846, and among those who had not yet been vaccinated (11,637 respondents), 60.9% chose "willing to receive," 30.1% chose "not decided," and 9.0% chose "not willing to receive." Being female, having a lower level of education, a low household income, and a low amount of savings, a low body mass index, and being depressive or generally anxious were positively associated with the choice "not decided" or "not willing to receive." Older age, living only with a spouse, having hypertension or dyslipidemia, having a trusting disposition, regarding TV (NHK) as the most important source of information on COVID-19, and having phobia related to COVID-19, were negatively associated with the choice of "not decided" or "not willing to receive."

Conclusions: Women, elderly people, people with low socio-economic status, those who do not trust strangers, and those who are depressive or anxious tended to have negative attitudes related to COVID-19 vaccination.