Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Advances in Preventive Medicine




This study examined health beliefs associated with novel influenza A (H1N1) immunization among US college undergraduates during the 2009-2010 pandemic. Undergraduates (ages 18–24 years) from a large Midwestern University were invited to complete an online survey during March, 2010, five months after H1N1 vaccines became available. Survey items measured H1N1 vaccine history and H1N1-related attitudes based on the health belief literature. Logistic regression was used to identify attitudes associated with having received an H1N1 vaccine, and thematic analysis of student comments was conducted to further understand influences on vaccine decisions. Among the 296 students who participated in the survey, 15.2% reported having received an H1N1 vaccine. In regression analysis, H1N1 immunization was associated with seasonal flu vaccine history, perceived vaccine effectiveness, perceived obstacles to vaccination, and vaccine safety concerns. Qualitative results illustrate the relationship of beliefs to vaccine decisions, particularly in demonstrating that students often held concerns that vaccine could cause H1N1 or side effects. Vaccine safety, efficacy, and obstacles to immunization were major considerations in deciding whether to accept the H1N1 pandemic vaccine. Therefore, focusing on those aspects might be especially useful in future vaccine efforts within the college population.


Reproduced with permission of Hindawi Publishing Corp. Advances in Preventive Medicine.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access