COVID-19 Among Youth in Israel: Correlates of Decisions to Vaccinate and Reasons for Refusal

Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan, Kim Mitchell, Yaniv Shlomo, Oren Heller, Michal Grinstein-Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The primary aim of the present study is to examine the reasons for adolescents’ refusal to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and examine correlates of vaccination among adolescents aged 12–18 years in Israel. Methods: A total of 150 youth aged 12–18 years participated in the study. Following parental consent (30% response rate) from an online internet Israeli participants’ pool, 150 youth completed the survey (50.5% response rate). Data were collected from May to June 2021. Results: Over half (64.0%) of youth in this study had received the COVID-19 vaccine (25.5% received one dose and 38.9% two doses). Of the youth who were not vaccinated the most common reasons cited for refusing the vaccine was not knowing enough about the harms that a vaccine has in the long run, not trusting the drug companies that the vaccine will be safe, believing the virus is not dangerous, and doubting the safety of the vaccine in the short term. Bivariate odds ratios indicate that age (older) and having both parents vaccinated was related to increase the odds of the youth getting vaccinated. Higher distress over the effects of the vaccine was significantly related to lower odds of receiving the vaccine. Social media use was also related to a higher likelihood of being vaccinated at the bivariate level. Discussion: Study findings provide specific ways in which peer-designed and peer-led public health programs may encourage youth to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a manner that recognizes concerns of Israeli youth.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate the contributions from many colleagues at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis who advised on planning and implementation of the study. The authors also thank the individuals who consented to participate in the research surveys and shared their personal experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors gratefully acknowledge the funders who made the Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 Survey in Israel possible: the McDonnell International Scholars Academy at Washington University in St. Louis; Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth; and Centene Center for Health Transformation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine


  • COVID-19
  • Vaccination
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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