This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of

Watts AW, Hutchison SM, Bettinger JA, Gadermann A, Oberle E, Oberlander TF, Goldfarb DM, Lavoie PM, Masse LC. COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions and Perceptions Among Public School Staff of the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan Area, British Columbia, Canada. Front. Public Health, 27 April 2022

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

In a paper published in Frontiers in Public Health, CITF-funded researchers Drs. Pascal Lavoie, Louise Mâsse and Allison Watts, along with colleagues from the University of British Columbia, explored the factors associated with the intention to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the sense of urgency to get vaccinated, among school staff. Education about the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccines from a trusted source had the strongest relationship with vaccine intentions among this occupational group. Notably, those who expressed mistrust in information still intended to get vaccinated if they also perceived strong benefits of the vaccine.

Key Findings

  • The vast majority of staff reported they intend to be vaccinated (92.5%) and that they will get vaccinated right away (82.4%)
  • Vaccine intention was associated with individuals who identified as valuing expert recommendations, accepting routine vaccines in general, and perceiving higher benefits and lower safety risks from vaccination.
  • In addition to the above factors, feeling particularly susceptible to getting COVID-19 was correlated with a sense of urgency (that is, the intention to be vaccinated right away) regarding vaccination.
  • A greater number of exposure hours to students was positively associated with urgency to get the vaccine right away in adjusted models.
  • A greater perceived risk of the vaccine was the only factor related to lower vaccine intentions in adjusted models.
  • Interestingly, individuals who perceived benefits of the vaccine to be high (to oneself, but also for friends, family or society), still intended to get vaccinated despite a high level of mistrust in COVID-19 information.

Findings from this study highlight the influence that a trusted source can have in disseminating information about COVID-19 and vaccination. Clear communication about the importance of vaccination may help inform those who express mistrust in vaccination and associated information if they perceive strong benefits of the vaccine.

2393 employees from three school districts in the Greater Vancouver Area completed a survey on COVID-19 vaccine intentions and perceptions between February and June 2021.