A statistical evaluation of attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines and reasons for vaccine hesitancy among LJMU students


  • Sadia Sultana


Vaccination, Covid-19 vaccine, Vaccine hesitancy, University students, Attitude


Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a major challenge in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. University students consist of a significant proportion of the population in almost every city in the UK. Understanding their attitudes toward the Covid-19 vaccine is essential to improve vaccination coverage. This study aimed to explore university students’ attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccine and to determine factors influencing vaccine acceptance and/or vaccine hesitancy.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted (from 8th June 2022 to 9th August 2022) with 31 adult students (aged 18+ years) at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), UK. The Oxford COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy scale was used to measure hesitancy to the COVID-19 vaccine. Chi-square, Spearman correlation, Mann Whitney, and Kruskal Wallis tests were used to examine the influence of sociodemographic factors on uncertainty and unwillingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 including concerns about ineffectiveness, concerns about adverse effects, and concerns about commercial profiting, etc. on negative vaccine attitudes.

Results: Approximately 6.7% of participants showed hesitancy toward vaccination. The mean score of vaccine hesitancy was 9.4 (out of 25) which suggested an overall positive attitude toward the vaccine. There was a significant association between students' age and their uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Students between the ages of 30-35 were more likely to be vaccinated. Half (50.0%) of participants reported that side effects from COVID-19 were their greatest concern. The study found a significant relationship between some factors and vaccine hesitancy such as concerns about COVID-19 vaccine ineffectiveness, rapid research and development of the Covid-19 vaccine, preference for natural remedies, and mistrust of ‘big pharma’ profit motive.

Conclusion: The study found an overall positive attitude towards the COVID-19 vaccine among the students at LJMU. Negative attitudes were mostly due to low levels of knowledge and trust in the vaccine. Health education programs need to be implemented to improve hesitant attitudes and build trust in the COVID-19 vaccine.