Trends and factors associated with change in COVID-19 vaccination intent among residents and staff in six Seattle homeless shelters, March 2020 to August 2021

Vaccine X. 2022 Dec:12:100232. doi: 10.1016/j.jvacx.2022.100232. Epub 2022 Oct 19.


Introduction: Achieving high COVID-19 vaccination coverage in homeless shelters is critical in preventing morbidity, mortality, and outbreaks, however, vaccination coverage remains lower among people experiencing homelessness (PEH) than the general population.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to retrospectively describe attitudes and identify factors associated with change in COVID-19 vaccination intent among shelter residents and staff during March 2020 - August 2021. To identify factors associated with change in COVID-19 vaccine intent becoming more positive overall compared to other attitudes, we utilized a Poisson model to calculate Risk Ratios with robust standard errors, adjusting for confounding by shelter site and demographic variables determined a priori.

Results: From July 12 - August 2, 2021, 97 residents and 20 staff participated in surveys across six shelters in Seattle King County, Washington. Intent to be vaccinated against COVID-19 increased from 45.3 % (n = 53) when recalling attitudes in March 2020 to 74.4 % (n = 87) as of August 2021, and was similar among residents and staff. Many participants (43.6 %, n = 51) indicated feeling increasingly accepting about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine since March 2020, while 13.7 % (n = 16) changed back and forth, 10.3 % (n = 12) became more hesitant, and 32.5 % (n = 38) had no change in intent. In the model examining the relationship between becoming more positive about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine compared to all other attitudes (n = 116), we found a 57.2 % increase in vaccine acceptability (RR 1.57; 95 % CI: 1.01, 2.45) among those who reported worsening mental health since the start of the pandemic.

Conclusions: Findings highlight opportunities to improve communication with residents and staff about COVID-19 vaccination and support a need for continued dialogue and a person-centered approach to understanding the sociocultural complexities and dynamism of vaccine attitudes at shelters.Clinical Trial Registry Number: NCT04141917.

Keywords: COVID-19; Health inequities; Homeless; SARS-CoV-2; Shelter; Vaccination.

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