Original Research

Does Seeing What Others Do Through Social Media Influence Vaccine Uptake and Help in the Herd Immunity Through Vaccination? A Cross-Sectional Analysis

November 2021

This study examined factors associated with acceptance of vaccines based on the constructs of the Health Belief Model, sources of information, social media usage, knowledge of COVID-19 treatment and perception of governments’ efforts for mitigation. Randomly sampled online survey data was collected between December 2020 and January 2021 from 372 citizens from multiple regions, including North America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Mainstream media (e.g., TV, newspaper) and social media were found to both negatively influence vaccine intent. Social media platforms that are more entertainment and social-based (e.g.; Whatsapp, Instagram, and YouTube) have a negative and significant influence on vaccine intent compared to other more information-based social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn). The study informs the importance of shaping media information for vaccination through informative media and social media outlets to counteract any misinformation.