Opposing Role of Trust as a Modifier of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in an Indigenous Population

Abstract: Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and remain significantly under-vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. To understand vaccine hesitancy, we surveyed 1124 adults residing in a region with one of the lowest vaccination rates in Hawaii during our COVID-19 testing program. Probit regression analysis revealed that race/ethnicity was not directly associated with the probability of vaccine uptake. Instead, a higher degree of trust in official sources of COVID-19 information increased the probability of vaccination by 20.68%, whereas a higher trust in unofficial sources decreased the probability of vaccination by 12.49% per unit of trust. These results revealed a dual and opposing role of trust on vaccine uptake. Interestingly, NHPIs were the only racial/ethnic group to exhibit a significant positive association between trust in and consumption of unofficial sources of COVID-19 information, which explained the vaccine hesitancy observed in this indigenous population. These results offer novel insight relevant to COVID-19 mitigation efforts in minority populations.

Juarez R, Phankitnirundorn K, Okihiro M, Maunakea AK. Opposing Role of Trust as a Modifier of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in an Indigenous Population. Vaccines. 2022; 10(6):968. https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines10060968

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