The Effect of Unobserved preferences and Race on Vaccination Hesitancy for COVID-19 Vaccines: Implications for Health Disparities
27 Pages Posted: 7 May 2021
Date Written: April 8, 2021
Background: Reducing the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities is among the main national priorities for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Early reports from states releasing vaccination data by race show that White residents are being vaccinated at significantly higher rates than Black residents. Public health efforts are being targeted to address vaccine hesitancy among Blacks and other minority populations. However, health care interventions intended to reduce health disparities that do not reflect the underlying values of individuals in underrepresented populations are unlikely to be successful.
Objective: To identify key factors underlying the disparities in COVID-19 vaccination.
Data sources: Primary data were collected from an online survey of a representative sample of the population of the four largest U.S. states (New York; California; Texas; Florida) between August 10 through September 3rd, 2020.
Study Design: Using latent class analysis, we built a model identifying key factors underlying the disparities in COVID-19 vaccination.
Principal findings: We found that subgroups among Black residents are not hesitant at all.
Conclusions: Results suggest that other factors, potentially institutional, are driving the vaccination rates for these groups. Our model results help point the way to more effective differentiated policies.
Note: Funding Statement: No funding was received for this study.
Declaration of Interests: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Ethics Approval Statement: The study has been reviewed by the University of Vermont Institutional Review Board which determined, on 7/6/2020, that the study is research that does not involve human subjects under 45 CFR 46.102(f).
Keywords: COVID-19, vaccination rates, vaccine hesitancy, health disparities, individual preference heterogeneity
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