Theodoros V. Giannouchos, Evaggelia Steletou, Maria Saridi, Kyriakos Souliotis

Purpose: To explore rates and factors associated with mandatory vaccination support overall and intentions to get vaccinated specifically for COVID-19 among individuals in Greece.

Methods: Using data from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey conducted in October 2020 among 855 adults (≥18 years) in Greece, we estimated support rates for mandatory vaccination and respondents’ intention to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as well as associations thereof with individual sociodemographic, clinical and contextual characteristics.

Results: About 74% of respondents supported mandatory vaccination and 62% intended to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The most prevalent reasons against COVID-19 vaccination were safety concerns related to the duration of clinical trials and potential side effects. Individuals who reported increased trust in healthcare authorities’ recommendations, who revealed that their trust in the State increased due to the way the COVID-19 pandemic was handled, who used preventive services more often, and those with higher income were more likely to both support mandatory vaccination and to indicate intention to get vaccinated for COVID-19.  Participants with worse or better self-reported health status (compared to average), younger adults, and females were less likely to intend to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Conclusions: The survey revealed that the majority of the Greek citizens favour mandatory vaccination overall and intend to get vaccinated for COVID-19, driven mostly by utilization of preventive services and trust in healthcare authorities. However, intention to get vaccinated for COVID-19 was lower relative to mandatory vaccination support. This suggests a need to intensify evidence-based yet simplified messaging by esteemed  healthcare providers to inform the public on the risks and benefits of vaccines.

Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2021