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1.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) ; 2023 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235350

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Disparities in COVID-19 vaccine and booster uptake persist. We obtained perspectives from community- and physician-stakeholders on COVID-19 vaccine and booster hesitancy and strategies to promote vaccine uptake among Black individuals with rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. METHODS: We invited community leaders and physicians in greater Boston and Chicago to participate in semi-structured interviews using a moderator guide developed a priori. Participants were queried about how to best address vaccine hesitancy, strategies to target high-risk populations, and factors to identify future community leaders. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically using Dedoose.TM RESULTS: Eight physicians and 12 community leaders participated in this study between November 2021 - October 2022. Qualitative analyses revealed misinformation/mixed messaging and mistrust, with subthemes including conspiracy theories, concerns regarding vaccine development and function, racism and historical injustices, and general mistrust of healthcare systems as the top cited reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Participants also shared demographic-specific differences, such as race, ethnicity, age, and gender that influenced the identified themes, with emphasis on COVID-19 vaccine access and apathy. Strategies for community-based vaccine-related information dissemination included personal storytelling with an iterative and empathetic approach, while recognizing the importance of protecting community leader well-being. CONCLUSION: To increase vaccine uptake among Black individuals with rheumatic conditions, strategies should acknowledge and respond to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic injustices that engender vaccine hesitancy. Messaging should be compassionate, individually tailored, and recognize heterogeneity in experiences and opinions. Results from these analyses will inform an organized community-based intervention in Boston and Chicago. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

2.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 10(5): ofad201, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241339

ABSTRACT

Background: Despite high rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related maternal mortality, Jamaica currently has little data on COVID-19 vaccine uptake among pregnant women. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, web-based survey of 192 reproductive-aged women in Jamaica from February 1 to 8, 2022. Participants were recruited from a convenience sample of patients, providers, and staff at a teaching hospital. We assessed self-reported COVID-19 vaccination status and COVID-19-related medical mistrust (operationalized as vaccine confidence, government mistrust, and race-based mistrust). We used multivariable modified Poisson regression to test the association between vaccine uptake and pregnancy. Results: Of 192 respondents, 72 (38%) were pregnant. Most (93%) were Black. Vaccine uptake was 35% in pregnant women versus 75% in nonpregnant women. Pregnant women were more likely to cite healthcare providers versus the government as trustworthy sources of COVID-19 vaccine information (65% vs 28%). Pregnancy, low vaccine confidence, and government mistrust were associated with a lower likelihood of COVID-19 vaccination (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 0.68 [95% confidence interval {CI}, .49-.95], aPR = 0.61 [95% CI, .40-.95], and aPR = 0.68 [95% CI, .52-.89], respectively). Race-based mistrust was not associated with COVID-19 vaccination in the final model. Conclusions: Pregnancy, low vaccine confidence, and government mistrust were associated with a lower likelihood of COVID-19 vaccination among reproductive-aged women in Jamaica. Future studies should evaluate the efficacy of strategies proven to improve maternal vaccination coverage, including standing "opt-out" vaccination orders and collaborative provider and patient-led educational videos tailored for pregnant individuals. Strategies that decouple vaccine messaging from government agencies also warrant evaluation.

3.
PLoS Med ; 20(1): e1004167, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inequities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine and booster coverage may contribute to future disparities in morbidity and mortality within and between Massachusetts (MA) communities. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of primary series vaccination and booster coverage 18 months into the general population vaccine rollout. We obtained public-use data on residents vaccinated and boosted by ZIP code (and by age group: 5 to 19, 20 to 39, 40 to 64, 65+) from MA Department of Public Health, as of October 10, 2022. We constructed population denominators for postal ZIP codes by aggregating census tract population estimates from the 2015-2019 American Community Survey. We excluded nonresidential ZIP codes and the smallest ZIP codes containing 1% of the state's population. We mapped variation in ZIP code-level primary series vaccine and booster coverage and used regression models to evaluate the association of these measures with ZIP code-level socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Because age is strongly associated with COVID-19 severity and vaccine access/uptake, we assessed whether observed socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities persisted after adjusting for age composition and plotted age-specific vaccine and booster coverage by deciles of ZIP code characteristics. We analyzed data on 418 ZIP codes. We observed wide geographic variation in primary series vaccination and booster rates, with marked inequities by ZIP code-level education, median household income, essential worker share, and racial/ethnic composition. In age-stratified analyses, primary series vaccine coverage was very high among the elderly. However, we found large inequities in vaccination rates among younger adults and children, and very large inequities in booster rates for all age groups. In multivariable regression models, each 10 percentage point increase in "percent college educated" was associated with a 5.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.9 to 6.3, p < 0.001) percentage point increase in primary series vaccine coverage and a 5.4 (95% CI 4.5 to 6.4, p < 0.001) percentage point increase in booster coverage. Although ZIP codes with higher "percent Black/Latino/Indigenous" and higher "percent essential workers" had lower vaccine coverage (-0.8, 95% CI -1.3 to -0.3, p < 0.01; -5.5, 95% CI -7.3 to -3.8, p < 0.001), these associations became strongly positive after adjusting for age and education (1.9, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.8, p < 0.001; 4.8, 95% CI 2.6 to 7.1, p < 0.001), consistent with high demand for vaccines among Black/Latino/Indigenous and essential worker populations within age and education groups. Strong positive associations between "median household income" and vaccination were attenuated after adjusting for age. Limitations of the study include imprecision of the estimated population denominators, lack of individual-level sociodemographic data, and potential for residential ZIP code misreporting in vaccination data. CONCLUSIONS: Eighteen months into MA's general population vaccine rollout, there remained large inequities in COVID-19 primary series vaccine and booster coverage across MA ZIP codes, particularly among younger age groups. Disparities in vaccination coverage by racial/ethnic composition were statistically explained by differences in age and education levels, which may mediate the effects of structural racism on vaccine uptake. Efforts to increase booster coverage are needed to limit future socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , Child , Humans , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Massachusetts/epidemiology
4.
N Engl J Med ; 387(21): 1935-1946, 2022 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106628

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In February 2022, Massachusetts rescinded a statewide universal masking policy in public schools, and many Massachusetts school districts lifted masking requirements during the subsequent weeks. In the greater Boston area, only two school districts - the Boston and neighboring Chelsea districts - sustained masking requirements through June 2022. The staggered lifting of masking requirements provided an opportunity to examine the effect of universal masking policies on the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in schools. METHODS: We used a difference-in-differences analysis for staggered policy implementation to compare the incidence of Covid-19 among students and staff in school districts in the greater Boston area that lifted masking requirements with the incidence in districts that sustained masking requirements during the 2021-2022 school year. Characteristics of the school districts were also compared. RESULTS: Before the statewide masking policy was rescinded, trends in the incidence of Covid-19 were similar across school districts. During the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 cases per 1000 students and staff (95% confidence interval, 32.6 to 57.1), which corresponded to an estimated 11,901 cases and to 29.4% of the cases in all districts during that time. Districts that chose to sustain masking requirements longer tended to have school buildings that were older and in worse condition and to have more students per classroom than districts that chose to lift masking requirements earlier. In addition, these districts had higher percentages of low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who were English-language learners, as well as higher percentages of Black and Latinx students and staff. Our results support universal masking as an important strategy for reducing Covid-19 incidence in schools and loss of in-person school days. As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities. CONCLUSIONS: Among school districts in the greater Boston area, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Masks , School Health Services , Universal Precautions , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Incidence , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Masks/statistics & numerical data , School Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Groups/legislation & jurisprudence , Occupational Groups/statistics & numerical data , Universal Precautions/legislation & jurisprudence , Universal Precautions/statistics & numerical data , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
5.
Vaccine X ; 12: 100196, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2069418

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has disproportionately affected the Black community in the United States (U.S.). The emergency authorization of three COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.-issued between December 2020 and February 2021-will significantly reduce hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. To date, no published study on COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among Black individuals in the U.S. has examined the unique experiences of Black immigrants. Methods: Between January and February 2021, we conducted an online quantitative survey of first and second generation Black immigrants across the U.S. (n = 388). We fit bivariate and multivariable multinomial logistic regression models to examine acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccines. Results: Overall, 57% of participants reported that they would get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately if it was available to them or had already received at least one dose of the vaccine, 37% would delay getting the vaccine, and 6% indicated that they would never get the vaccine. Compared to participants who reported that they would get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately/had already received at least one dose, participants who indicated that they would never get the vaccine were more likely to have an associate's degree or lower [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 9.25; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.34 to 36.6] and a bachelor's degree (aOR 3.79; 95% CI: 1.14 to 12.6) compared to having a master's degree or higher. Additionally, compared to participants who reported that they would get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately/had already received at least one dose, participants who indicated that they would delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine were more likely to: identify as female (aOR 2.62; 95% CI: 1.45 to 4.72), identify as heterosexual (aOR 4.33; 95% CI: 1.46 to 12.9), report having been employed in healthcare operations and care delivery in the previous 6 months (aOR 2.08; 95% CI: 1.02 to 4.25), and history of a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis (aOR 2.44; 95% CI: 1.15 to 5.19). Conclusion: Our results suggest that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy may be high among Black immigrants in the U.S. We found that lower educational attainment, being female, and employment in healthcare setting were associated with vaccine refusal and delay. Culturally-relevant interventions are needed to ensure optimal vaccination rates among this vulnerable population.

6.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0268020, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910623

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccination rates among Black Americans have been lower than White Americans and are disproportionate to their population size and COVID-19 impact. This study examined reasons for low vaccination intentions and preferred strategies to promote COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: Between November 2020 and March 2021, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 participants who expressed low vaccination intentions in a RAND American Life Panel survey; we also interviewed five stakeholders who represent organizations or subgroups in Black communities that have been highly affected by COVID-19. RESULTS: Many interviewees discussed the "wait-and-see" approach, citing that more time and evidence for vaccine side effects and efficacy are needed. Perceived barriers to COVID-19 vaccination included structural barriers to access (e.g., transportation, technology) and medical mistrust (e.g., towards the vaccines themselves, the government, healthcare providers and healthcare systems, and pharmaceutical companies) stemming from historical and contemporary systematic racism against Black communities. Interviewees also discussed strategies to promote COVID-19 vaccines, including acknowledging systemic racism as the root cause for mistrust, preferred messaging content (e.g., transparent messages about side effects), modes, and access points (e.g., a variety of medical and non-medical sites), and trusted information sources (e.g., trusted leaders, Black doctors and researchers). CONCLUSIONS: These insights can inform ways to improve initial and booster vaccination uptake as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Intention , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trust , United States , Vaccination
8.
JAMA health forum ; 2(9), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1678776

ABSTRACT

This cohort study examines the alignment of vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 risk in Massachusetts by creating and applying a vaccination-to-infection risk ratio.

9.
JAMA Health Forum ; 2(9): e212666, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427024

ABSTRACT

This cohort study examines the alignment of vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 risk in Massachusetts by creating and applying a vaccination-to-infection risk ratio.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
10.
J Natl Med Assoc ; 113(6): 599-611, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: National data indicate low intentions for COVID-19 vaccination among a substantial minority of Black Americans, and disproportionately lower vaccination rates among Black Americans than White Americans. METHODS: A total of 207 of the 318 Black participants (65%) in the RAND American Life Panel, a nationally representative internet panel, were surveyed about COVID-19 vaccine intentions in November-December 2020. Participants' census tracts were geocoded using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Social Vulnerability Index. RESULTS: Overall, 35% agreed or strongly agreed that they would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, 40% agreed or strongly agreed that they would get vaccinated, and 25% reported "don't know." Significant multivariable predictors of not wanting to get vaccinated included high mistrust of the vaccine itself (e.g., concerns about harm and side effects), OR (95% CI) = 2.2 (1.2-3.9), p = .007, and weak subjective norms for vaccination in one's close social network, OR (95% CI) = 0.6 (0.4-0.7), p < .001. Residence in an area of higher socioeconomic vulnerability was a marginally significant predictor, OR (95% CI) = 3.1 (0.9-11.0), p = .08. CONCLUSIONS: High mistrust around COVID-19 vaccines may lower vaccine confidence. Social network members' attitudes can be influential in encouraging vaccination. Public health communications could use transparent and clear messaging on safety and efficacy, and acknowledge historical and ongoing discrimination and racism as understandable reasons for low confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Future research is needed to consider vaccine access challenges in tandem with mistrust as contributing to low vaccination rates across health conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Black or African American , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
11.
J Urban Health ; 98(2): 222-232, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147614

ABSTRACT

Geographic inequalities in COVID-19 diagnosis are now well documented. However, we do not sufficiently know whether inequalities are related to social characteristics of communities, such as collective engagement. We tested whether neighborhood social cohesion is associated with inequalities in COVID-19 diagnosis rate and the extent the association varies across neighborhood racial composition. We calculated COVID-19 diagnosis rates in Philadelphia, PA, per 10,000 general population across 46 ZIP codes, as of April 2020. Social cohesion measures were from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, 2018. We estimated Poisson regressions to quantify associations between social cohesion and COVID-19 diagnosis rate, testing a multiplicative interaction with Black racial composition in the neighborhood, which we operationalize via a binary indicator of ZIP codes above vs. below the city-wide average (41%) Black population. Two social cohesion indicators were significantly associated with COVID-19 diagnosis. Associations varied across Black neighborhood racial composition (p <0.05 for the interaction test). In ZIP codes with ≥41% of Black people, higher collective engagement was associated with an 18% higher COVID-19 diagnosis rate (IRR=1.18, 95%CI=1.11, 1.26). In contrast, areas with <41% of Black people, higher engagement was associated with a 26% lower diagnosis rate (IRR=0.74, 95%CI=0.67, 0.82). Neighborhood social cohesion is associated with both higher and lower COVID-19 diagnosis rates, and the extent of associations varies across Black neighborhood racial composition. We recommend some strategies for reducing inequalities based on the segmentation model within the social cohesion and public health intervention framework.


Subject(s)
Black or African American , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cooperative Behavior , Humans , Philadelphia/epidemiology , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 86(2): 200-207, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-941587

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medical mistrust, a result of systemic racism, is prevalent among Black Americans and may play a role in COVID-19 inequities. In a convenience sample of HIV-positive Black Americans, we examined associations of COVID-19-related medical mistrust with COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 treatment hesitancy and negative impacts of COVID-19 on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. METHODS: Participants were 101 HIV-positive Black Americans (age: M = 50.3 years; SD = 11.5; 86% cisgender men; 77% sexual minority) enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of a community-based ART adherence intervention in Los Angeles County, CA. From May to July 2020, participants completed telephone interviews on negative COVID-19 impacts, general COVID-19 mistrust (eg, about the government withholding information), COVID-19 vaccine and treatment hesitancy, and trust in COVID-19 information sources. Adherence was monitored electronically with the Medication Event Monitoring System. RESULTS: Nearly all participants (97%) endorsed at least one general COVID-19 mistrust belief, and more than half endorsed at least one COVID-19 vaccine or treatment hesitancy belief. Social service and health care providers were the most trusted sources. Greater COVID-19 mistrust was related to greater vaccine and treatment hesitancy [b (SE) = 0.85 (0.14), P < 0.0001 and b (SE) = 0.88 (0.14), P < 0.0001, respectively]. Participants experiencing more negative COVID-19 impacts showed lower ART adherence, assessed among a subset of 49 participants [b (SE) = -5.19 (2.08), P = 0.02]. DISCUSSION: To prevent widening health inequities, health care providers should engage with communities to tailor strategies to overcome mistrust and deliver evidence-based information, to encourage COVID-19 vaccine and treatment uptake.


Subject(s)
Black or African American/psychology , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/psychology , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Medication Adherence/psychology , Trust/psychology , Adult , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , HIV Infections/ethnology , HIV Infections/psychology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Los Angeles , Male , Medication Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual and Gender Minorities , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
15.
AIDS ; 34(12): 1781-1787, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-772526

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many people living with HIV (PLWH) have comorbidities which are risk factors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or have exposures that may lead to acquisition of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2. There are few studies, however, on the demographics, comorbidities, clinical presentation, or outcomes of COVID-19 in people with HIV. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors, clinical manifestations, and outcomes in a large cohort of PLWH with COVID-19. METHODS: We systematically identified all PLWH who were diagnosed with COVID-19 at a large hospital from 3 March to 26 April 2020 during an outbreak in Massachusetts. We analyzed each of the cases to extract information including demographics, medical comorbidities, clinical presentation, and illness course after COVID-19 diagnosis. RESULTS: We describe a cohort of 36 PLWH with confirmed COVID-19 and another 11 patients with probable COVID-19. Almost 85% of PLWH with confirmed COVID-19 had a comorbidity associated with severe disease, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, or hypertension. Approximately 77% of PLWH with COVID-19 were non-Hispanic Black or Latinx whereas only 40% of the PLWH in our clinic were Black or Latinx. Nearly half of PLWH with COVID-19 had exposure to congregate settings. In addition to people with confirmed COVID-19, we identified another 11 individuals with probable COVID-19, almost all of whom had negative PCR testing. CONCLUSION: In the largest cohort to date of PLWH and confirmed COVID-19, almost all had a comorbidity associated with severe disease, highlighting the importance of non-HIV risk factors in this population. The racial disparities and frequent link to congregate settings in PLWH and COVID-19 need to be explored urgently.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Black or African American/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Cost of Illness , Female , HIV Infections/ethnology , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
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