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1.
Sustainability ; 15(11):8655, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-20244953

ABSTRACT

Education plays a critical role in promoting preventive behaviours against the spread of pandemics. In Japan, handwashing education in primary schools was positively correlated with preventive behaviours against COVID-19 transmission for adults in 2020, during the early stages of COVID-19. The following year, the Tokyo Olympics were held in Japan, and a state of emergency was declared several times. Public perceptions of and risks associated with the pandemic changed drastically with the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines. We re-examined whether the effect of handwashing education on preventive behaviours persisted by covering a longer period of the COVID-19 pandemic than previous studies. A total of 26 surveys were conducted nearly once a month for 30 months from March 2020 (the early stage of COVID-19) to September 2022 in Japan. By corresponding with the same individuals across surveys, we comprehensively gathered data on preventive behaviours during this period. In addition, we asked about the handwashing education they had received in their primary school. We used the data to investigate how and to what degree school education is associated with pandemic-mitigating preventive behaviours. We found that handwashing education in primary school is positively associated with behaviours such as handwashing and mask wearing as a COVID-19 preventive measure but not related to staying at home. We observed a statistically significant difference in handwashing between adults who received childhood handwashing education and those who did not. This difference persisted throughout the study period. In comparison, the difference in mask wearing between the two groups was smaller but still statistically significant. Furthermore, there was no difference in staying at home between them. Childhood hygiene education has resulted in individuals engaging in handwashing and mask wearing to cope with COVID-19. Individuals can form sustainable development-related habits through childhood education.

2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(4)2023 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305999

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is key to reducing the probability of contracting COVID-19. The vaccine is generally known to prevent severe illness, death, and hospitalization as a result of the disease and for considerably reduce COVID-19 infection risk. Accordingly, this might significantly change an individual's perceived risk of altering everyday behaviors. For instance, the proliferation of vaccination is anticipated to reduce preventive behaviors such as staying at home, handwashing, and wearing a mask. We corresponded with the same individuals monthly for 18 months from March 2020 (early stage of COVID-19) to September 2021 in Japan to independently construct large sample panel data (N = 54,007), with a participation rate of 54.7%. We used a fixed effects model, controlling for key confounders, to determine whether vaccination was associated with a change in preventive behaviors. The major findings are as follows. Contrary to the prediction, (1) based on the whole sample, being vaccinated against COVID-19 led people to stay at home; however, it did not change the habit of handwashing and wearing a mask. Especially after the second shot, respondents were likelier to stay at home by 0.107 (95% CIs: 0.059-0.154) points on a 5-point scale compared to before the vaccination. Dividing the entire sample into young and old, (2) those aged ≤ 40 years were more likely to go out after being vaccinated, and (3) people over 40 years of age were more likely to stay at home (similar to the first result). Preventive behaviors impact all individuals during the current pandemic. Informal social norms motivate people to increase or maintain preventive behaviors even after being vaccinated in societies where these behaviors are not enforced.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(4)2023 Apr 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305998

ABSTRACT

Vaccination has been promoted to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccination is expected to reduce the probability of and alleviate the seriousness of COVID-19 infection. Accordingly, this might significantly change an individual's subjective well-being and mental health. We observed the same individuals on a monthly basis from March 2020 to September 2021 in all parts of Japan. Then, large sample panel data (N = 54,007) were independently constructed. Using the data, we compared the individuals' perceptions of COVID-19, subjective well-being, and mental health before and after vaccination. Furthermore, we compared the effect of vaccination on the perceptions of COVID-19 and mental health for females and males. We used the fixed-effects model to control for individual time-invariant characteristics. The major findings were as follows: First, the vaccinated people perceived the probability of getting infected and the seriousness of COVID-19 to be lower than before vaccination. This was observed not only when we used the whole sample but also when we used subsamples of males and a subsample of females. Second, subjective well-being and mental health improved. The same results were also observed using the subsample of females, whereas the improvements were not observed when using a subsample of males. This implies that females' quality of life was more likely to be improved by vaccination than males' one. The novelty of the work is to show the gender difference in the vaccination effects.

4.
J Risk Uncertain ; 64(2): 191-212, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1899256

ABSTRACT

In this study, we investigated whether the risk preference systematically changed during the spread of COVID-19 in Japan. Traditionally, risk preference is assumed to be stable over one's life, though it differs among individuals. While recent studies have reported that it changes with a large event like natural disasters and financial crisis, they have not reached a consensus on its direction, risk aversion, or tolerance. We collected panel data of Japanese individuals in five waves from March to June 2020, which covered the period of the first cycle when COVID-19 spread rapidly and then dwindled. We measured risk preference through questions on the willingness to pay for insurance. The main results are as follows: First, people became more risk tolerant throughout the period; and second, people were more averse to mega risk than moderate risk, with the former correlating more strongly with the individual's perception of COVID-19. The first result may be interpreted as "habituation" to repeated stress, as is understood in neuroscience. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11166-022-09374-z.

5.
Eur J Health Econ ; 23(4): 687-703, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864412

ABSTRACT

Achieving high vaccination rates is important for overcoming an epidemic. This study investigates the association between religious faith and intentions to become vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel and Japan. Most of Israel's population is monotheistic, whereas most Japanese are unaffiliated with any religion. Therefore, our findings might be applicable to various countries that differ in their religions and levels of religiosity. We conducted almost identical large-scale surveys four times in Israel and five times in Japan from March to June 2020 to obtain panel data. We found that intentions of getting vaccinated depend on people's level of religiosity in a non-linear way. Those who have strong religious beliefs are less likely to become vaccinated than those who say they are less religious. Two other factors that play a role in this relationship are religious denomination in Israel and identifying with a religion in Japan.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Japan , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Jpn Int Econ ; 64: 101194, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814763

ABSTRACT

This study applies the difference-in-difference method on panel data collected from internet surveys to investigate changes in the preventive behaviors and mental health of individuals as influenced by the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration between March and June 2020. The key findings are: (1) The declaration led people to exhibit preventive behaviors but also generated negative emotions; (2) Such behaviors persisted even after deregulation of the state of emergency; (3) Making the declaration early (vs. late) had a larger effect on preventive behavior, with the gap between residents' behaviors for areas that made early vs. late declarations persisting after the deregulation; and (4) The effects on mental health diminished during the state of emergency and disappeared after its deregulation.

7.
Journal of risk and uncertainty ; : 1-22, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1756106

ABSTRACT

In this study, we investigated whether the risk preference systematically changed during the spread of COVID-19 in Japan. Traditionally, risk preference is assumed to be stable over one’s life, though it differs among individuals. While recent studies have reported that it changes with a large event like natural disasters and financial crisis, they have not reached a consensus on its direction, risk aversion, or tolerance. We collected panel data of Japanese individuals in five waves from March to June 2020, which covered the period of the first cycle when COVID-19 spread rapidly and then dwindled. We measured risk preference through questions on the willingness to pay for insurance. The main results are as follows: First, people became more risk tolerant throughout the period;and second, people were more averse to mega risk than moderate risk, with the former correlating more strongly with the individual’s perception of COVID-19. The first result may be interpreted as “habituation” to repeated stress, as is understood in neuroscience. Supplementary information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11166-022-09374-z.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542522

ABSTRACT

This study investigates how people in Japan perceived the severity of and probability of infection from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and how their willingness to purchase a hypothetical vaccine depends on these perceptions and their risk attitudes. We conducted a large-scale panel survey three times between 13 March to 13 April 2020 in Japan. By analyzing the data, we found that the perception of COVID-19 became more serious. The estimation of the fixed effect model reveals that a person becomes more willing to pay for a vaccine as the person evaluates COVID-19 as a more severe disease, considers a higher probability of infection, and becomes more risk averse. Since the sensitivity of willingness to pay for the vaccine on risk aversion increased during the period, the change in risk attitude contributed to an increase in willingness through the sensitivity channel, while it decreased through the magnitude channel.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
9.
The European journal of health economics : HEPAC : health economics in prevention and care ; : 1-17, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1479201

ABSTRACT

Achieving high vaccination rates is important for overcoming an epidemic. This study investigates the association between religious faith and intentions to become vaccinated against COVID-19 in Israel and Japan. Most of Israel’s population is monotheistic, whereas most Japanese are unaffiliated with any religion. Therefore, our findings might be applicable to various countries that differ in their religions and levels of religiosity. We conducted almost identical large-scale surveys four times in Israel and five times in Japan from March to June 2020 to obtain panel data. We found that intentions of getting vaccinated depend on people’s level of religiosity in a non-linear way. Those who have strong religious beliefs are less likely to become vaccinated than those who say they are less religious. Two other factors that play a role in this relationship are religious denomination in Israel and identifying with a religion in Japan. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10198-021-01389-8.

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