Interest in COVID-19 vaccine trials participation among young adults in China: Willingness, reasons for hesitancy, and demographic and psychosocial determinants
With the demand for rapid COVID-19 vaccine development and evaluation, this paper aimed to describe the prevalence and correlates of willingness to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials among university students in China. A cross-sectional survey with 1912 Chinese university students was conducted during March and April 2020. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify variables associated with willingness to participate. The majority of participants (64.01%) indicated willingness to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Hesitancy over signing informed consent documents, concerns over time necessary for participating in a medical study, and perceived COVID-19 societal stigma were identified as deterrents, whereas lower socioeconomic status, female gender, perception of likely COVID-19 infection during the pandemic, and COVID-19 prosocial behaviors were facilitative factors. Further, public health mistrust and hesitancy over signing informed consent documents had a significant interactive effect on vaccine trial willingness. High standards of ethical and scientific practice are needed in COVID-19 vaccine research, including providing potential participants full and accurate information and ensuring participation free of coercion, socioeconomic inequality, and stigma. Attending to the needs of marginalized groups and addressing psychosocial factors including stigma and public health mistrust may also be important to COVID-19 vaccine development and future uptake.