COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, medical mistrust, and mattering in ethnically diverse communities

Charura, D., Hill, A. P. and Etherson, M. E. (2023) COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, medical mistrust, and mattering in ethnically diverse communities. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 10(3), pp. 1518-1525. (doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01337-z) (PMID:35641735) (PMCID:PMC9154033)

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Objectives: Uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be lower in ethnically diverse communities in the UK even though they are disproportionally affected by the negative effects of the virus. To better understand why uptake is lower, we explored factors that may underpin vaccine hesitancy and intention to vaccinate in these communities with an emphasis on medical mistrust and feelings of mattering. Design: One hundred and sixty-one adults from ethnically diverse backgrounds who had not had a COVID-19 vaccination completed an online questionnaire that contained closed (quantitative) and open (qualitative) questions. Results: Analyses of quantitative questions revealed that medical mistrust, but not feelings of mattering, was related to COVID-19 hesitancy and likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Of the three components of medical mistrust, suspicion was the only unique predictor and was related to higher hesitancy towards the COVID-19 vaccine and lower likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Analyses of the responses to the qualitative questions were organised into four themes: (1) Beliefs that taking the vaccine is an important social responsibility; (2) Experiences of pressure to take the vaccine and limited choice; (3) General mistrust linked to personal experiences and the health system; (4) Being concerned about social/medical restrictions if not vaccinated. Conclusion: The findings suggest that medical mistrust may partly explain why uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine is lower in ethnically diverse communities in the UK and appears to play a role in how people weigh a sense of responsibility and pressure against health and social concerns in making the decision to be vaccinated.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Black Health Initiative (BHI) who commissioned and advertised this research to help recruit participants. Black Health Initiative (BHI) also funded the research with support through Forum Central—A collective voice for the health and care third sector, and Leeds City Council—Public Health, UK (No grant number issued).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Etherson, Dr Marianne
Authors: Charura, D., Hill, A. P., and Etherson, M. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
ISSN (Online):2196-8837
Published Online:31 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute
First Published:First published in Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 10(3): 1518-1525
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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