COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Examining the Relationship between Perceptions of COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Intention to Receive it among African Americans in Mississippi
Date of Award
Honors College Thesis
Biological Sciences BS
Jennifer L. Lemacks, Ph.D.
Charkarra Anderson-Lewis, Ph.D.
Sabine Heinhorst, Ph.D.
Nutrition and Food Systems
In March of 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic due to the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 disease. While scientific developers were seeking to understand the biochemical mechanism of SARS-CoV-2, political and public health leaders implemented non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing measures, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. As the world began to adjust to the new realities, the race to create an effective vaccine was on. With the later development of the COVID-19 vaccine, receptiveness to the vaccine across the world varied, and in the United States, vaccine hesitancy was an apparent phenomenon, especially in Mississippi. This study sought to explore the relationship between the perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine safety and vaccine uptake intention among African American adults in Mississippi. Participants were recruited via social media, email, social networks, and community-based organizations to participate in an online survey. Eligible participants for this study were African American, Mississippi residents over the age of 18 years old. Pearson correlation analyses revealed age, education level, income levels, and knowing a family member who experienced an adverse reaction were associated with vaccine hesitancy. Linear regression results showed perceptions of vaccine safety for self/community, not vaccine safety perceptions, were a significant predictor of vaccine hesitancy, after controlling for several variables. Limitations of this study include limited generalizability. Future studies on vaccine hesitancy in African Americans should examine vaccine hesitancy while accounting for any historical or current events such as the Tuskegee experiment that may have led to medical mistrust.
Keywords: Pandemic, COVID-19 Vaccine, Vaccine Hesitancy, Safety Perception, Vaccine Uptake Intention, Vaccine Safety, African Americans
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Johnson, Tija L., "COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Examining the Relationship between Perceptions of COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Intention to Receive it among African Americans in Mississippi" (2022). Honors Theses. 847.