It can be assumed that higher SARS-CoV-2 infection risk is associated with higher COVID-19 vaccination intentions, although evidence is scarce. In this large and representative survey of 6007 adults aged 18–64 years and residing in France, 8.1% (95% CI, 7.5–8.8) reported a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in December 2020, with regional variations according to an East–West gradient (p < 0.0001). In participants without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was substantial, including 41.3% (95% CI, 39.8–42.8) outright refusal of COVID-19 vaccination. Taking into account five characteristics of the first approved vaccines (efficacy, duration of immunity, safety, country of the vaccine manufacturer, and place of administration) as well as the initial setting of the mass vaccination campaign in France, COVID-19 vaccine acceptance would reach 43.6% (95% CI, 43.0–44.1) at best among working-age adults without prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was primarily driven by vaccine characteristics, sociodemographic and attitudinal factors. Considering the region of residency as a proxy of the likelihood of getting infected, our study findings do not support the assumption that SARS-CoV-2 infection risk is associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.


Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).

Cite as

Velardo, F., Watson, V., Arwidson, P., Alla, F., Luchini, S., Schwarzinger, M. & Group, C. 2021, 'Regional Differences in COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in December 2020 : A Natural Experiment in the French Working-Age Population', Vaccines, 9(11), article no: 1364. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9111364

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 16 June 2022
Was this page helpful?