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Among college students, evidence of relatively lower levels of concern of COVID-19 infection, rapid rates of transmission, and lagging vaccination rates substantiates a need to combat college student COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. This two-phase study comprised formative research, development, and pilot testing of a campaign to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among college students. In phase one, focus group discussions with college students (N = 48) uncovered their specific attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control toward the COVID-19 vaccine. Thematic analysis revealed concerns about vaccine safety, efficacy, cost, and politicization, as well as perceived barriers to accessing information and the vaccine itself. Guided by formative research from phase one and the theory of planned behavior, phase two comprised campaign development and pilot testing. Participants (N = 30) completed a pretest and posttest survey assessing TPB constructs and awareness of information toward COVID-19 vaccination surrounding a two-week peer-to-peer campaign called Shot Talk. Results revealed increases in safety-related attitudes, perceived behavioral control, and awareness of information regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Practical implications for theory-driven campaigns and strategic messaging for primary COVID-19 vaccination and beyond are discussed.


This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in [JOURNAL]. [INCLUDE CITATION]. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


Taylor & Francis

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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