Publication date: Sep 05, 2023
How do citizens choose COVID-19 vaccines, and when do they wish to be vaccinated? A choice-based conjoint experiment was conducted in Hong Kong to examine factors that shape citizens’ preference toward COVID-19 vaccines and their time preference to be vaccinated, which is overlooked in extant literature. Results suggest people are most concerned about vaccines’ efficacy and severe side-effects, and that cash incentives are not useful in enhancing vaccine appeal. The majority of respondents show low intention for immediate vaccination, and many of them want to delay their vaccination. Further analysis shows that their time preference is shaped more by respondent characteristics than vaccine attributes. In particular, confidence in the vaccine, trust in government, and working in high-risk professions are associated with earlier timing for vaccine uptake. Meanwhile, forced COVID testing would delay vaccination. The findings offer a novel view in understanding how people decide whether and when to receive new vaccines, which have pivotal implications for a head start of any mass vaccination programs.