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Turpanjian College of Health Sciences Article Published in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics

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YEREVAN, Armenia — The Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) published an article in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, an open-access, high impact peer-reviewed scientific journal with a special focus on developments in vaccinology and immunotherapy. 

The article is authored by Tsovinar Harutyunyan, Ph.D., (MPH ‘99); Zhanna Sargsyan, M.S., (MPH ‘18); Serine Sahakyan, R.N. (MPH ‘15); Araz Chiloyan, MPH; Dzovinar Melkom Melkomian, DVM, MBA, (MPH ‘11); and Vahe Khachadourian, M.D., Ph.D., (MPH ‘11). 

The article titled “Predicting COVID-19 vaccination uptake in Armenia using the Health Belief Model: results from a nationwide survey” presents findings from a nationwide phone survey conducted in 2021. It explores the factors associated with the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the Armenian adult population using the Health Belief Model (HBM). The analysis revealed that the COVID-19 vaccination intent was higher in employed participants; in those with higher average monthly expenditures; and in older people surveyed. In accordance with the model, perceived effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as perceived ease of getting vaccinated were associated with substantially higher intention, while a higher level of perceived barriers to getting vaccinated (for example, being afraid of possible side effects from the vaccine) was associated with a substantially lower intention of COVID-19 vaccination. Perceived threat of the COVID-19 and the frequency of use of different sources of information on COVID-19 were also associated with the intention.

In light of the study findings, the research team has recommended stressing the effectiveness and safety of vaccines during public awareness campaigns to facilitate positive behavior change in Armenia. Health policymakers, communication specialists, and healthcare providers should focus their efforts on reaching out to unemployed and low-income segments of the population to increase vaccination rates.

The paper was published based on the study conducted within the scope of the “Support to control COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks” project. The latter aims to strengthen national capacity to control COVID-19 and other communicable disease outbreaks and emergencies of potential public health concern, advancing public health emergency preparedness and response strategy in Armenia. The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the AUA CHS and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States government.

The AUA Turpanjian College of Health Sciences works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of health professionals to be leaders in public health, nursing, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.