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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 242518, 7 pages
Research Article

Reasons for Low Pandemic H1N1 2009 Vaccine Acceptance within a College Sample

1Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, USA
3Section of Adolescent Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Received 31 August 2012; Accepted 22 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jim Tartaglia

Copyright © 2012 Russell D. Ravert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examined health beliefs associated with novel influenza A (H1N1) immunization among US college undergraduates during the 2009-2010 pandemic. Undergraduates (ages 18–24 years) from a large Midwestern University were invited to complete an online survey during March, 2010, five months after H1N1 vaccines became available. Survey items measured H1N1 vaccine history and H1N1-related attitudes based on the health belief literature. Logistic regression was used to identify attitudes associated with having received an H1N1 vaccine, and thematic analysis of student comments was conducted to further understand influences on vaccine decisions. Among the 296 students who participated in the survey, 15.2% reported having received an H1N1 vaccine. In regression analysis, H1N1 immunization was associated with seasonal flu vaccine history, perceived vaccine effectiveness, perceived obstacles to vaccination, and vaccine safety concerns. Qualitative results illustrate the relationship of beliefs to vaccine decisions, particularly in demonstrating that students often held concerns that vaccine could cause H1N1 or side effects. Vaccine safety, efficacy, and obstacles to immunization were major considerations in deciding whether to accept the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. Therefore, focusing on those aspects might be especially useful in future vaccine efforts within the college population.