Mixed methods approach to understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among immigrants in the Chicago

Mary Grace Sharp, Paula Lozano, Alia Southworth, Aven Peters, Helen Lam, Fornessa T. Randal, Michael Quinn, Karen E. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has been particularly high among immigrant populations, whose experience is shaped by a history of racism and discriminations, and distrust of the healthcare system. In this study we draw from the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among immigrants in Chicago. Methods: A mixed-methods approach comprising of both focus groups and a health survey was conducted from February to August 2022. Five focus groups were held (N = 35) among Black, Asian and Arab/Palestine participants to understand attitudes and beliefs around the COVID-19 vaccine. Focus groups were analyzed using a modified template approach to text analysis. Based on these findings and themes, we developed a survey that was conducted among 413 immigrants from the mentioned communities. We used hierarchical ordinal regression analyses to examine the relationship between COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and vaccination status. Results: Qualitative analysis suggest that the major factors influencing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy included fear of adverse reactions, misinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccine, negative social norms around vaccination, and external pressure to get vaccinated. From our quantitative analysis we found that 24% of participants were unvaccinated, 5% were partially vaccinated, 32.3% were vaccinated but not boosted, and 39% were vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. Hierarchical regression models suggest that immigrants who hold negative attitudes and social norms around the COVID-19 vaccine are less likely to vaccinate. Conclusions: Understanding vaccine hesitancy among immigrants allows for the creation of culturally and linguistically tailored education that can be utilized to increase vaccine confidence and uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVaccine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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