Combatting a “Twin-Demic”: A Quantitative Assessment of COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccine Hesitancy in Primary Care Patients

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Health Promotion Perspectives


Background: Public health officials anticipate severe health outcomes amidst the circulation of two major viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza. This study investigated intent to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza, and sought to identify attitudes towards vaccines and barriers for vaccine acceptance. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study was conducted in the Louisiana State University Medicine Clinic from September 2020 to December 2020. Intent to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 and influenza virus was assessed through a brief questionnaire. Additionally, hesitancy and attitudes regarding vaccines were ascertained using validated 5-point Likert scales. In total, 280 patients completed the questionnaire. Results: A total of 248 patients were included in the final analysis. Overall 167 (67%, 95% CI = 61.1-73.0%) of patients were unsure or did not intend to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while only 19.3% (95% CI = 14.4-24.5%) were unsure or did not intend to be vaccinated against the influenza vaccine. Reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy included concern regarding side effects, fear of getting sick from the vaccine, and the absence of vaccine recommendations from their doctor. Concerningly, African American patients demonstrated decreased likelihood of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Conclusion: This survey revealed that only 1 in 3 adults intended to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while 8 out of 10 adults intended to receive the influenza vaccine. Patients who intended on getting the COVID-19 vaccine were less likely to be African American. Given the degree of hesitancy against COVID-19 vaccination, a multifaceted approach to facilitate vaccine uptake that includes vaccine education, behavioral change strategies, and health promotion, is paramount.

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Tabriz University of Medical Sciences [University Publisher]