Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among a Community Sample of African Americans Living in the Southern United States

Justin Xavier Moore, Keon L Gilbert, Katie L Lively, Christian Laurent, Rishab Chawla, Cynthia Li, Ryan Johnson, Robert Petcu, Mehul Mehra, Antron Spooner, Ravindra Kolhe, Christy J W Ledford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In the United States, African Americans (AAs) have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 mortality. However, AAs are more likely to be hesitant in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations when compared to non-Hispanic Whites. We examined factors associated with vaccine hesitancy among a predominant AA community sample. We performed a cross-sectional analysis on data collected from a convenience sample of 257 community-dwelling participants in the Central Savannah River Area from 5 December 2020, through 17 April 2021. Vaccine hesitancy was categorized as resistant, hesitant, and acceptant. We estimated relative odds of vaccine resistance and vaccine hesitancy using polytomous logistic regression models. Nearly one-third of the participants were either hesitant (n = 40, 15.6%) or resistant (n = 42, 16.3%) to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine-resistant participants were more likely to be younger and were more likely to have experienced housing insecurity due to COVID-19 when compared to both acceptant and hesitant participants, respectively. Age accounted for nearly 25% of the variation in vaccine resistance, with 21-fold increased odds (OR: 21.93, 95% CI: 8.97-5.26-91.43) of vaccine resistance in participants aged 18 to 29 compared to 50 and older adults. Housing insecurity accounted for 8% of the variation in vaccine resistance and was associated with 7-fold increased odds of vaccine resistance (AOR: 7.35, 95% CI: 1.99-27.10). In this sample, AAs under the age of 30 and those experiencing housing insecurity because of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to be resistant to receiving a free COVID-19 vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 8 2021


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