Virtual town halls addressing vaccine hesitancy among racial/ethnic minorities: Preliminary findings. Article

Wagner, Eric F, Langwerden, Robbert J, Morris, Staci Leon et al. (2022). Virtual town halls addressing vaccine hesitancy among racial/ethnic minorities: Preliminary findings. . 62(1), 317-325. 10.1016/j.japh.2021.11.005

cited authors

  • Wagner, Eric F; Langwerden, Robbert J; Morris, Staci Leon; Ward, Melissa K; Trepka, Mary Jo; Campa, Adriana L; Howard, Melissa M; Charles, Sara C; Garba, Nana Aisha; Hospital, Michelle M

abstract

  • Background

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remains a public health priority, and vaccination is important for ending the pandemic. Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionally affected by COVID-19 yet report high levels of vaccination hesitancy.

    Objective

    We conducted virtual town halls to address vaccine hesitancy among racial and ethnic minorities in South Florida.

    Methods

    Our approach used social influence and persuasion models. In a formative phase, we gathered meeting preferences from our communities and developed and tested our approach. In an implementation phase, we conducted 6 virtual town halls in partnership with minority community-based organizations.

    Results

    The town halls reached 383 participants (mean age 37.5 years; 63.4% female, 33.9% male, 2.7% nonbinary; 59% racial/ethnic minority) who completed pre- and postmeeting assessments. Among nonvaccinated participants, at the prepoll, 58% reported a high likelihood of seeking vaccination, rising to 63% at the postassessment. Unvaccinated non-hesitant and hesitant groups were compared on trusted information sources and reasons and barriers for vaccination. Nonhesitant participants reported significantly greater trust in the COVID-19 Task Force (97.3% vs. 83.3%) as a source of vaccine information than did hesitant participants. Nonhesitant participants were significantly more likely to endorse family safety (82.5% vs. 63.2%), community safety (72.5% vs. 26.3%), personal safety (85% vs. 36.8%), and wanting to return to a normal life (70% vs. 31.6%) as reasons for vaccination than were hesitant participants. Hesitant participants were significantly more likely to endorse concerns about vaccine safety doubts (63.2% vs. 17.5%) and not believing the pandemic is as bad as people say it is (21.1% vs. 5%) as barriers to vaccination than were nonhesitant participants. Qualitative data revealed high consumer satisfaction with the town halls.

    Conclusion

    This study supports the feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of virtual town halls for addressing vaccine hesitancy among racial/ethnic minorities; however, our approach was resource intensive, required an extensive community-university collaborative infrastructure, and yielded a small effect.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022

keywords

  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Ethnic and Racial Minorities
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccination Hesitancy

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Medium

  • Print-Electronic

start page

  • 317

end page

  • 325

volume

  • 62

issue

  • 1