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Original article

Vol. 151 No. 4950 (2021)

COVID-19 vaccination acceptance in the canton of Geneva: a cross-sectional population-based study

  • Ania Wisniak
  • Hélène Baysson
  • Nick Pullen
  • Mayssam Nehme
  • Francesco Pennacchio
  • María-Eugenia Zaballa
  • Idris Guessous
  • Silvia Stringhini
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w30080


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination as well as its sociodemographic and clinical determinants, 3 months after the launch of the vaccination programme in Geneva, Switzerland.

METHODS In March 2021, an online questionnaire was proposed to adults included in a longitudinal cohort study of previous SARS-CoV-2 serosurveys carried out in the canton of Geneva, which included former participants of a population-based health survey as well as individuals randomly sampled from population registries, and their household members. Questions were asked about COVID-19 vaccination acceptance, reasons for acceptance or refusal and attitudes to vaccination in general. Data on demographic (age, sex, education, income, professional status, living conditions) and health-related characteristics (having a chronic disease, COVID-19 diagnosis, smoking status) were assessed at inclusion in the cohort (December 2020). The overall vaccination acceptance was standardised according to the age, sex, and education distribution in the Geneva population.

RESULTS: Overall, 4067 participants (completion rate of 77.4%) responded to the survey between 17 March and 1 April 2021. The mean age of respondents was 53.3 years and 56.0% were women. At the time of the survey, 17.2% of respondents had already been vaccinated with at least one dose or had made an appointment to get vaccinated, and an additional 58.5% intended or rather intended to get vaccinated. The overall acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination standardised to the age, sex and education distribution of the population of Geneva was 71.8%, with a higher acceptance among men than women, older adults compared with younger adults, high-income individuals compared with those with a low income, and participants living in urban and semi-urban areas compared with rural areas. Acceptance was lower among individuals having completed apprenticeships and secondary education than those with tertiary education. The most common reasons reported by participants intending to get vaccinated were the desire to "get back to normal", to protect themselves, their community and/or society,and their relatives or friends against the risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2, as well as the desire to travel. Less than half (45.6%) of participants having children were willing or rather willing to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19 if it were recommended by public health authorities.

CONCLUSION: Although our study found a 71.8% weighted acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination, there were noticeable sociodemographic disparities in vaccination acceptance. These data will be useful for public health measures targeting hesitant populations when developing health communication strategies.


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