In spite of findings highlighting higher health risk from infection compared to younger people, a certain percentage of older people in Austria still lack a valid vaccination certificate. The current gaps in vaccination coverage in countries such as Austria are likely to be in large part due to vaccination refusal and pose or will pose problems for the health system and consequently for all of society should the initial findings on Omicron coronavirus infectivity prove true. Surprisingly, only a few studies around the globe explicitly address older people's COVID-19 vaccination willingness. The present work therefore intends to contribute to this field by identifying factors associated with the decision for or against a vaccination among the older population in Austria. Data collected between late 2020 and early 2021 via the cross-national panel study Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) are used to perform multinomial logistic regression to analyse differences between COVID-19 vaccination supporters, undecided persons and rejectors. The results show that persons exhibiting a low risk assessment toward COVID-19, less health protection behaviors, lower education and belonging to households with financial burdens are significantly more likely to refuse vaccination or be ambivalent. Although multimorbidity reduces risk of vaccination refusal, poor subjective health was significantly related to a higher risk of refusing vaccination. The results point to the importance of addressing the factors related to refusal. Only by understanding these factors will it be possible to increase vaccination rates and thus minimize other restrictive measures.
- COVID-19 Vaccines
- Vaccination Coverage