News Release

One year post-COVID-19 mass vaccination, immunization coverage is higher among those eligible for priority vaccination

Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Tsukuba

Tsukuba, Japan—At the beginning of the mass vaccination against COVID-19 infection, the government had to determine eligibility for priority vaccination. Priority for vaccination was given to healthcare workers, people aged >65 years, and people aged 18-64 years with underlying medical conditions in particular. The effect of such a setting on subsequent vaccination coverage requires evaluation.

In this study, an Internet survey on trends in vaccination status and reasons for vaccination was performed over the following three-time points: February 2021, immediately before the start of mass vaccination; September-October 2021, when all citizens (excluding children aged <12 years, among others) could receive the vaccine; and February 2022, approximately 1 year after the beginning of mass vaccination. The analysis was stratified by priority of vaccination (yes/no).

Analysis of data from 13,555 individuals followed through all surveys revealed that COVID-19 vaccination coverage was particularly high among priority vaccine recipients (especially healthcare workers and older adults) and low among non-priority recipients. The main reason for wanting to be vaccinated was to prevent self-infection and consequently affect family members, whereas concerns related to side effects was often cited as the reason for not wanting to be vaccinated.

The results of this study aim to be an essential resource for policy planning in the event of another emerging infectious disease epidemic in the future and the need for mass vaccination.

This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI grants (grant 17H03589, 19K10671, 19K10446, 18H03107, 18H03062, 19H03860, 21H04856, and 21H03203), the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (grant 19K19439), the Research Support Program to Apply the Wisdom of the University to Tackle COVID-19 Related Emergency Problems, University of Tsukuba, Health Labour Sciences Research Grant (grant 19FA1005, 19FG2001, 19FA1012, and 21HA2016), the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED; grant 2033648), and the Individual Research Allowance at Kanagawa University of Human Services.


Original Paper

Title of original paper:
The Impact of Priority Settings at the Start of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination on Subsequent Vaccine Uptake in Japan: One-Year Prospective Cohort Study

JMIR Public Health and Surveillance



Assistant Professor HORI, Daisuke
Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba

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Institute of Medicine

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