Background/purpose. Despite efforts to increase flu vaccine uptake, the rate of vaccination remains below target. Additionally, many Virginians remain unvaccinated or have not maintained a booster schedule in line with recommendations. The current study investigated willingness to receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, associations between the likelihood of receiving the two vaccines, and differences in uptake by racial group and insurance status. Methods. Participants were adult patients seen for appointments at an ambulatory clinic in Southeast, VA. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing vaccination history and future vaccination intentions. Results. Results revealed significant associations between having received the flu vaccine previously and receiving the current season vaccine as well as receiving the flu vaccine and intentions to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. No significant differences in flu vaccination were found between Black and White adults. Insured participants reported greater intentions to receive the flu vaccine compared to uninsured participants. The primary reason reported for vaccine hesitancy were safety concerns. Discussion. Study participants report a much higher flu vaccination rate compared to the national average. Participants who endorse the efficacy and safety of vaccines are likely to have greater intentions for future vaccine uptake. Conclusions. As new flu and COVID-19 variants emerge, the need to maintain protection via annual boosters will remain. Addressing the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy is essential to increasing vaccine coverage. The study adds to the growing literature on attitudes towards vaccination, the need for continued endorsement of vaccinations, and highlights opportunities to promote vaccination uptake for uninsured patients.
Alkalbani, Mutaz; Frousios, Ritsa; Francis, Matilda; Beidas, Yousef; Ryal, Jennifer; and Sheehan, Brynn
"Vaccine Uptake in the Era of COVID-19: Associations between Willingness to Receive the Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccines,"
Virginia Journal of Public Health: Vol. 7:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/vjph/vol7/iss2/5