Wong CH, Zhong CC, Chung VC, Nilsen P, Wong EL, Yeoh EK
Vaccines 10 (5) - [2022-05-12; online 2022-05-12]
enhancing uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is an important tool for managing the pandemic. However, in Hong Kong, the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the general population was unsatisfactory during the early phase of the vaccination program. This two-part study aimed to (i) identify barriers and facilitators to receiving vaccinations, and (ii) develop theoretically-informed implementation strategies for promoting uptake. in part 1, 45 Hong Kong residents who differed in their willingness to vaccinate (willing (n = 15), were unwilling (n = 15), and were hesitant (n = 15)), were interviewed individually in February 2021. They were invited to express their perceptions of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. The theoretical domains framework (TDF) was applied to guide the interviews and analyses. Behavioral diagnoses from these findings were then used to develop theoretically-informed implementation strategies in part 2, composed of behavior change techniques (BCTs) informed by the established BCT taxonomy. in part 1, the five main barriers were (i) concerns on severe and long-term side effects; (ii) low confidence in the safety and effectiveness due to concerns of their accelerated development; (iii) unclear information on logistical arrangements of the vaccination program; (iv) insufficient data on safety and effectiveness; and (v) perceived low protection ability conferred by the vaccines. The five main facilitators included (i) healthcare professionals' recommendations; (ii) news from TV, radio, and newspapers as main sources of trustworthy information; (iii) vaccine-related health education delivered by healthcare professionals; (iv) expectations of resuming to a normal social life; and (v) perceived benefits outweighing risks of mild and short-term side effects. seven implementation strategies were developed in part 2 based on the results above, namely (i) providing trustworthy vaccine-related information and scaling up the promotion; (ii) encouraging healthcare professionals to recommend vaccinations; (iii) giving incentives; (iv) using social influence approaches; (v) allowing a selection of COVID-19 vaccine brands; (vi) increasing accessibility for vaccinations; and (vii) emphasizing social responsibility.