COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: The Role of Information Sources and Beliefs in Dutch Adults

H. de Vries*, W. Verputten, C. Preissner, G. Kok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)


COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy may be regarded as a new pandemic hindering the elimination of or coping with COVID-19. This study assessed reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy using the I-Change Model (ICM) by considering the role of informational and psychosocial factors. A cross-sectional online survey using a convenience sample was conducted among Dutch adults (n = 240). The questionnaire assessed information factors, predisposing factors, awareness factors, motivational factors, preparatory actions, and vaccination intention. Vaccine hesitant participants (n = 58, 24%) had lower levels of education, more often paid work, and tended to have a religion other than Catholicism. They used written media less often and tended to visit websites of public health organizations less often, but used messaging services like WhatsApp more frequently. All participants had neutral intentions towards checking information credibility. Vaccine hesitant respondents had less knowledge about vaccination, lower perceived severity of getting sick and dying of COVID-19, and reported fewer exposures to cues about the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination. They were less convinced of the emotional and rational advantages of COVID-19 vaccination and expressed more negative feelings about it. They also reported more negative social norms concerning COVID-19 vaccination, and lower self-efficacy to get vaccinated and to cope with potential side-effects. The regression model explained 58% of the variance in vaccination intention. The results suggest that strategies are needed to: 1. Reduce fake news and stimulate information checking to foster well-informed decision-making; 2. Target both rational and emotional consequences of COVID-19, in addition to strategies for optimizing levels of knowledge. Campaigns should acknowledge the perceptions of the emotional disadvantages and increase perceptions of emotional advantages of COVID-19 vaccinations, such as reducing feelings of regret, and increasing feelings of freedom and reassurance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3205
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • knowledge
  • attitudes
  • self-efficacy
  • information seeking behaviour
  • I-Change Model
  • FEAR

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