Race, trust, and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in people with opioid use disorder

This article was originally published here

Health Psychol. 2021 Dec 2. doi: 10.1037/hea0001120. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a promising avenue for arresting the COVID-19 pandemic, yet suboptimal rates of vaccine uptake in at-risk groups may hinder efficacy and worsen existing health disparities. People with opioid use disorder (OUD) are likely to face increased vulnerability to COVID-19 due to a confluence of biological and social risk factors. We sought to assess factors associated with willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 in people with OUD.

METHOD: Phone surveys were conducted from May to October 2020 with participants enrolled in an urban methadone maintenance program (MMP). Participants were adults who met DSM-5 criteria for OUD and reported injection drug use or sexual risk behavior. Participants were asked about their willingness to receive a highly or partially effective vaccine. Provider trust was assessed using the Trust in Physician scale. Multinomial regression was used to assess demographic and psychosocial factors related to vaccination willingness.

RESULTS: We surveyed 109 people with OUD enrolled in a MMP (M = 47 years; 56% women; 59% White, 23% Black/African American, 14.4% Hispanic/Latinx; 1.8% other). Participants who identified as Black or African American were significantly less likely to endorse willingness to use a partially effective COVID-19 vaccine (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = .10; 95% confidence interval (CI) [.02, .61], p = .012), although not necessarily less willing to receive a highly effective vaccine (aOR = .40; 95% CI [.09, 1.73], p = .219; n.s.). Trust in physician was positively associated with willingness to use a partially effective vaccine (aOR = 1.12; 95% CI [1.02, 1.23], p = .017), but was not significantly associated with willingness to receive a highly effective vaccine (aOR = 1.07; 95% CI [.98, 1.16], p = .162, n.s) Conclusions: Proactive outreach from trustworthy sources will be needed to counter vaccine hesitancy in people with OUD, especially among Black Americans with OUD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:34855415 | DOI:10.1037/hea0001120