Social Network, Political Climate, Income Inequality, and Americans Uptake of Monovalent COVID-19 Booster

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COVID-19, Monovalent Booster Uptake, Multilevel Predictors, Social Network, Political Climate, Income Inequality

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented impact on Americans for over three years. To control the damage, a booster shot becomes increasingly necessary because the efficacy of the initial vaccine is waning and new variants of the virus are emerging. This study aims to understand factors at both individual and state levels that influence one’s decision to take the monovalent booster. We merged data from a national survey administered in the Spring of 2022 with state-level indicators of the political climate, income inequality, and public health conditions. Multilevel logistic regression is adopted for statistical estimation. Findings show contrasting effects of the social network. More vaccinated people in one’s network promote booster uptake, while more family members and close friends who contracted the virus in one’s network inhibit booster uptake. In addition, residents of states with more votes for the Democratic candidate in the 2020 general election are more likely to take the booster. Meanwhile, residents from states with high income inequality are less likely to become boosted. This study identified multilevel determinants of the individual decision to receive the monovalent COVID-19 booster. The results imply the need to leverage the social network, weaken partisanship salience, and reduce income inequality to encourage booster uptake.

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Vaccine, v. 41, issue 41, p. 6077-6082