Author ORCID Identifier

Joseph N. Scudder: 0000-0002-4324-0026

Dennis P. DeBeck: 0000-0002-6874-1804

Document Type


Publication Title



This study examined the impact of fear and anxiety on the intent to take the first COVID-19 booster vaccine. The objective of this study is to provide guidance for messaging campaigns of public health practitioners. A survey approach provided insights about individuals’ emotions of fear and anxiety related to adopting the first booster vaccine for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: Three independent variables were considered in their ability to predict the intent to take the first COVID-19 booster vaccine (BINT): Fear for Others (FOTH), Fear for SELF (FSELF), and COVID-19 Anxiety (CANX). Results: The confirmatory factor analysis supported an underlying three-factor solution for three central emotions in this study. A path analysis indicated significant direct effects for FOTH and FSELF in the prediction of BINT. The interdependent nature of these variables on the intent to get the first booster vaccine also was indicated by significant indirect effects. Discussion: Fear should be more precisely refined to include the fear for others (FOTH) beyond consideration of the fear for self (FSELF) from the impact of COVID-19. Conclusions: FOTH and FSELF were demonstrated to be direct predictors of BINT. CANX was only found to be significant as part of indirect effects impacting BINT. Future investigation should be given to the mediating role of anxiety with FOTH and FSELF as the context changes.


Publication Date


Original Citation

Scudder, J.N.; DeBeck, D.P. A Survey of Fear for Others, Fear for Self, and Pandemic Anxiety Predicting Intention to Take the First Booster Vaccine to Combat COVID-19. Vaccines 2024, 12, 47.


Department of Communication


Funding for the author publication charges provided by Northern Illinois University Libraries and NIU's Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships



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