Reducing Vaccine Refusal Among High-Risk Groups
In this article, authors discuss the continued battle against COVID-19 as the recent vaccines have been rolling out across our country. COVID-19 has become a health disparity among Americans, with minorities exhibiting the highest burden of illness and deaths related to the pandemic. According to the CDC (2020), Black and Hispanic individuals are 4.7 and 4.6 times more likely, respectively, to be hospitalized for COVID-19 when compared to Whites. In addition, there have been significant economic and social costs for minorities due to the pandemic. COVID-19 Vaccines are vital to producing an immune response to slow the pandemic among all races. To effectively interrupt virus transmission, it is estimated that at least 70% of the American population needs to be vaccinated. Authors discuss a survey used to determine which groups are most hesitant against the COVID-19 vaccine. This particular study shows refusal is highest among women, Blacks, conservatives, and those with a significant religious background. In this survey, 71% of women are less likely to pursue vaccination, while 41% of Blacks surveyed state they are less likely to pursue vaccination. When determining top reasons for vaccine hesitancy among these groups, the top two reasons cited were that the vaccine is not safe, and the vaccine will not be effective. In particular, Blacks who are being infected and dying at higher rates than the rest of the population are also less likely to vaccinate because of a combination of concerns, and because they lack the health insurance and financial resources that might be necessary for access to vaccination. Almost ⅓ of U.S. adults intend not to pursue a COVID-19 vaccine. Developing health communication strategies, making the vaccine more accessible to these groups , and targeted education could reduce vaccine refusal and contribute to decreased COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). “COVIDView: a weekly surveillance summary of U.S. COVID-19 activity.” Centers for disease control and prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html (2020).