One year post-COVID-19 mass vaccination: Immunization coverage is higher among those eligible for priority vaccination
At the beginning of the mass vaccination against COVID-19 infection, the government had to determine eligibility for priority vaccination. Priority for vaccination was given to health care workers, people aged over 65 years, and people aged 18–64 years with underlying medical conditions in particular. The effect of such a setting on subsequent vaccination coverage requires evaluation.
In this study, an internet survey on trends in vaccination status and reasons for vaccination was performed over the following three-time points: February 2021, immediately before the start of mass vaccination; September–October 2021, when all citizens (excluding children aged under 12 years, among others) could receive the vaccine; and February 2022, approximately one year after the beginning of mass vaccination. The analysis was stratified by priority of vaccination (yes/no). The study is published in the journal JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.
Analysis of data from 13,555 individuals followed through all surveys revealed that COVID-19 vaccination coverage was particularly high among priority vaccine recipients (especially health care workers and older adults) and low among non-priority recipients. The main reason for wanting to be vaccinated was to prevent self-infection and consequently affect family members, whereas concerns related to side effects was often cited as the reason for not wanting to be vaccinated.
The results of this study aim to be an essential resource for policy planning in the event of another emerging infectious disease epidemic in the future and the need for mass vaccination.
More information: Daisuke Hori et al, The Impact of Priority Settings at the Start of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination on Subsequent Vaccine Uptake in Japan: One-Year Prospective Cohort Study, JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (2023). DOI: 10.2196/42143