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medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.01.31.23285233


Background: Recent studies have identified important social inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 infection and related COVID-19 outcomes in the Belgian population. The aim of our study was to investigate the sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics associated with the uptake of COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the uptake of a first COVID-19 vaccine dose among 5,342,110 adults ([≥]18 years) in Belgium from December 28th 2020 (official starting date of the vaccination campaign) until August 31st 2021. We integrated data from four national data sources: the Belgian vaccine register (vaccination status), COVID-19 Healthdata (laboratory test results), DEMOBEL (sociodemographic/socioeconomic data), and the Common Base Registry for HealthCare Actors (individuals licensed to practice a healthcare profession in Belgium). We used multivariable logistic regression analysis for identifying characteristics associated with not having obtained a first COVID-19 vaccine dose in Belgium and for each of its three regions (Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia). Results: During the study period, 10% (536,716/5,342,110) of the Belgian adult population included in our study sample was not vaccinated with a first COVID-19 vaccine dose. A lower COVID-19 vaccine uptake was found among young individuals, men, migrants, single parents, one-person households, and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups (with lower levels of income and education, unemployed). Overall, the sociodemographic and socioeconomic disparities were comparable for all regions. Conclusions: The identification of sociodemographic and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19 vaccination uptake is critical to develop strategies guaranteeing a more equitable vaccination coverage of the Belgian adult population.