COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Up for Racial, Ethnic Minority HCWs

Before authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine hesitancy was increased among Black, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian health care workers (HCWs) compared with White HCWs, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in JAMA Network Open.

Florence M. Momplaisir, M.D., from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined hesitancy to COVID-19 vaccination among HCWs across different racial/ethnic groups in a survey study conducted over a three-week period in November and December 2020. A total of 12,034 individuals (34.5 percent of those who were eligible) completed the survey, and 10,871 (32.2 percent) completed the survey and also reported their race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that vaccine hesitancy was highest among Black HCWs and Hispanic or Latino HCWs (83.0 and 63.5 percent, respectively). Of the 5,440 HCWs with vaccine hesitancy, concerns about side effects, newness of the vaccine, and lack of vaccine knowledge were included as reasons (87.1, 79.2, and 75.2 percent, respectively). Compared with White HCWs, the adjusted odds ratios for vaccine hesitancy were 4.98, 2.10, 1.48, and 1.47 for Black HCWs, Hispanic and Latino HCWs, HCWs with other or mixed race/ethnicity, and Asian HCWs, respectively.

“These results suggest that more work is needed to ensure confidence in COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among Black and Hispanic or Latino individuals, who are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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