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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Science and Human Ecology

First Reader/Committee Chair

Mshigeni, Salome


Background: COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV -2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019 (CDC, 2020), that may pose negative health effects on individuals who have not had the recommended vaccine. In the United States there is a growing number of individuals that are still hesitant towards the idea of taking a vaccine which can impact their health and the health of others.

Methods: This study utilized a mixed method research design to capture a sample of undergraduate college students’ perception and understanding of the COVID-19 vaccine. A cross sectional online survey was developed using Google Forms to gather data from a small sample of students enrolled in a general education introductory course in the Spring 2021 semester. The results were analyzed using the Statistical Package for The Social Sciences SPSS Software version 27.0.

Results: Based on two survey questions, “Will you be vaccinated for COVID-19 when vaccines are available to you?”, and “Where do you receive your information regarding vaccines for Cholera, Hepatitis, Rubella, Influenza, Tetanus Etc.?”, data showed that 68.75% of the participants who received their vaccine information from social media would accept the COVID-19 vaccine, while 51.35% of the participants who did not receive their vaccine information from social media would accept the COVID-19 vaccine. Data was categorized by participants who used social media to learn about vaccines and those who did not. This data illustrated the disparities among the different groups when social media was a factor (# of people that will be vaccinated 19 vs 11; # of people that will not be vaccinated 18 vs 5).


The purpose of this study was to examine the reasons behind COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among undergraduate college students at Public University in Southern California. The results suggest that the amount of influence social media has had and its connection with online misinformation play a big role as an influencer for the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance or opposition among college students. More research is needed to examine each age group beyond what is presented in this study with the goal of creating evidence-based intervention strategies for vaccine compliance for a variety of demographic characteristics.