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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (06) : 684-695     DOI:
The Familiarity of Influenza A (H1N1), Perception of Vaccine Safety, Vaccination Behaviour and Their Influential Mechanism
QIN Xin;NIU Cong;HUANG Zhen-Lei;XU Min-Ya
(1 Guanghua School of Management, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
(2 Center for Statistical Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
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Abstract  Breaking out in Mexico, influenza A (H1N1) spread rapidly throughout the world and caused thousands of deaths. In China, the government took several measures to control the disease’s transmission, such as licensing vaccine production and setting up a vaccination system. Researchers have conducted a number of investigations on risk perceptions of past public health crises and natural disasters, but little systematic empirical research has been done for vaccine or vaccination behaviour. Also, up until now, there seems to be no explicit research conducted on influenza A (H1N1). In this study, we examined the public’s familiarity with influenza A (H1N1), perception of vaccine safety, vaccination behaviour and the mechanism of influence.
We employed a questionnaire to collect data from several universities located in Beijing. Before conducting the survey, we first performed a pretest with a group of 30 people, and made adjustments based on their opinions and suggestions. The measurements in the questionnaire included: respondents’ demographics, the Big Five Scales, degree of prudence, involvement, degree of familiarity, perception of vaccine safety, vaccination behaviour and two open questions about vaccine safety and why participants had or had not been vaccinated. We delivered 660 copies of the questionnaire with 596 of them collected. Among the collected questionnaires 518 were deemed effective. In addition to descriptive summaries, structure equation models were used to test the hypotheses.
The results of our main model demonstrated that the degree of prudence had a significant positive effect on the involvement in news and in communication about influenza A (H1N1). However, these two kinds of involvement had different effects on the familiarity with influenza A (H1N1). While the relation between involvement in news and familiarity with influenza A (H1N1) was positive, the involvement in communication showed no significant effect on the latter. Also, both the involvement in news and familiarity with influenza A (H1N1) had a significant positive effect on the perception of vaccine safety; that is, the positive effect of involvement in news was partially mediated by the familiarity with influenza A (H1N1). When people had a high degree of perception of vaccine safety, they were more inclined to get vaccinated. In addition, we evaluated the influences of demographic characteristics and personality on the main model. Of all these characteristics, we found that the agreeableness dimension of the Big Five personality model had a significant positive effect on the perception of vaccine safety, while age and gender played no significant role.
This study is intended to help understand the mechanisms of people’s social and psychological behaviour in relationship to public health affairs and provide helpful suggestions for public protective measures the government can take in similar circumstances.
Keywords influenza A (H1N1)      vaccine      risk perception      personality      influential mechanism     
Corresponding Authors: XU Min-Ya   
Issue Date: 30 June 2011
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QIN Xin,NIU Cong,HUANG Zhen-Lei, et al. The Familiarity of Influenza A (H1N1), Perception of Vaccine Safety, Vaccination Behaviour and Their Influential Mechanism[J]. , 2011, 43(06): 684-695.
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