A qualitative study exploring attitudes and perceptions of the COVID-19 booster vaccine in minority ethnic individuals in North East England

Judith Eberhardt, John Kabuye, Jonathan Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: COVID-19 booster vaccine uptake among minority ethnic individuals In the United Kingdom has been lower than in the general population. This is the case not only for the first and second dose of the vaccine, but particularly for the booster dose. However, little research has examined psychosocial factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy in minority ethnic individuals. This study conducted a qualitative exploration, informed by Protection Motivation Theory, of attitudes towards and perceptions of the COVID-19 booster vaccination among ethnic minority individuals in North East England.
Design: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 ethnic minority individuals (11 females, 5 males) aged between 27 and 57, residing in North East England.
Results: Inductive thematic analysis showed that perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 influenced vaccination decisions. Perceived response costs acted as barriers to COVID-19 booster vaccination among interviewees, in the form of time constraints and a perceived lack of practical support in the event of experiencing side effects from the vaccine. There was a lack of confidence in the vaccine, with individuals seeing it as lacking sufficient research. Participants also spoke of medical mistrust due to historical events involving medical experimentation on minority ethnic individuals. Interviewees suggested involving community leaders in addressing people’s concerns, misassumptions, and lack of confidence in COVID-19 vaccination.
Conclusion: Campaigns to increase COVID-19 booster vaccine uptake need to be designed to address physical barriers towards vaccination, misconceptions, and a lack of confidence in the vaccine. Further research needs to determine the effectiveness of enlisting community leaders in these efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023

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