Prosociality and Social Responsibility Were Associated With Intention of COVID-19 Vaccination Among University Students in China

Document Type : Original Article


1 Centre for Health Behaviours Research, JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2 Graduate School of Baotou Medical College, Baotou Medical College, Baotou, China

3 Department of Psychology, School of Education, Henan University, Kaifeng, China

4 Department of Psychology, School of Psychiatry, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China

5 School of Public Health, Dali University, Dali, China

6 Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, China


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is expected to end the pandemic; a high coverage rate is required to meet this end. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of behavioral intention of free/self-paid COVID-19 vaccination and its associations with prosociality and social responsibility among university students in China.
An anonymous online cross-sectional survey was conducted among 6922 university students in five provinces in China during November 1-28, 2020. With informed consent, participants filled out an online survey link distributed to them via WeChat study groups. The response rate was 72.3%.

The prevalence of behavioral intentions of free COVID-19 vaccination was 78.1%, but it dropped to 57.7% if the COVID-19 vaccination involved self-payment (400 RMB; around 42 USD). After adjusting for background factors, prosociality (free vaccination: adjusted odds ratio [ORa] = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.09-1.12; self-paid vaccination: ORa = 1.08, 95% CI: 1.07-1.09) and social responsibility (free vaccination: ORa = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.14-1.19; self-paid vaccination: ORa = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.11-1.14) were positively associated with the two variables of COVID-19 vaccination intention.

The present study demonstrated the positive effects of prosociality and social responsibility on the intention of COVID-19 vaccination. Accordingly, modification of prosociality and social responsibility can potentially improve COVID-19 vaccination. Future longitudinal and intervention studies are warranted to confirm such associations across populations and countries.


Main Subjects

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Volume 11, Issue 8
August 2022
Pages 1562-1569
  • Receive Date: 14 January 2021
  • Revise Date: 17 May 2021
  • Accept Date: 03 June 2021
  • First Publish Date: 26 June 2021