Schellhammer, Eva; Jakob Weitzer; Manfred D. Laubichler; Brenda M. Birmann; Martin Berta; Lukas Zenk; Guido Caniglia; Carlo C. Jager and Gerald Steiner

Background With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic surging and new mutations evolving, trust in vaccines is essential. Methods We explored correlates of vaccine hesitancy, considering political believes and psychosocial concepts, conducting a non-probability quota-sampled online survey with 1007 Austrians. Results We identified several important correlates of vaccine hesitancy, ranging from demographics to complex factors such as voting behavior or trust in the government. Among those with hesitancy towards a COVID-19 vaccine, having voted for opposition parties (opp) or not voted (novote) were (95% Confidence Intervall (CI)opp, 1.44–2.95) to 2.25-times (95%CInovote, 1.53–3.30) that of having voted for governing parties. Only 46.2% trusted the Austrian government to provide safe vaccines, and 80.7% requested independent scientific evaluations regarding vaccine safety to increase willingness to vaccine. Conclusions Contrary to expected, psychosocial dimensions were only weakly correlated with vaccine hesitancy. However, the strong correlation between distrust in the vaccine and distrust in authorities suggests a common cause of disengagement from public discourse.