Intentions to vaccinate and follow guidelines against COVID-19 in the Netherlands in light of the 21st century’s first global pandemic: The determining role of protection motivation and micro and macro framing
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Introduction of the new COVID-19 vaccinations presents a critical opportunity to effectively tackle the pandemic. However, high vaccination uptake and preventive measure compliance are crucial to successfully reduce COVID-19 transmission. While previous studies have illustrated a presence of international COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, there remains little research into underlying determinants. This study aimed to provide insight into potential determinants behind vaccination and preventive health intentions by investigating the role played by motivation and perceptions of the self in relation to larger society. Findings aim to pave the way for effective pandemic planning and targeting strategies. This study investigated the role played by protection motivation and micro and macro perspective framing upon intentions to vaccinate and follow measures against COVID-19 in the Netherlands. An experimental design was employed by manipulating the threat of COVID-19, called the threat appraisal, and effectiveness of the new vaccines, called the coping appraisal. This was to determine which condition is associated with the highest vaccination and preventive health behaviour intentions. The study collected 895 responses through online surveys and analysed the findings through a full factorial design analysis. The study demonstrated that a high coping appraisal linked to high intentions to get vaccinated. Effects of the threat and micro – macro manipulations did not have statistically significant effects on vaccination intentions or intentions to follow measures. Similarly, the coping appraisal manipulation did not have a statistically significant effect upon intentions to follow measures. However, additional analyses showed that higher intentions to vaccinate and to follow measures exist amongst people aged between 51 and 60 years old compared to those aged 30 and under. The analyses furthermore showed that higher intentions to vaccinate and follow measures existed amongst those with a more politically left than right orientation. Higher intentions to vaccinate additionally existed amongst employed people compared to unemployed people, those who had received secondary, university and other higher education compared to those who had only completed primary school, and Christians compared to Muslims and non-religious individuals. Lastly, higher intentions to follow measures were expressed by women than by men. The study concluded that a high coping appraisal is associated with higher intentions to vaccinate. This suggests importance of ease of vaccination and measure compliance.