Predictors of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake and Reasons for Vaccine Hesitancy Among New York State Refugees

J Evid Based Soc Work (2019). 2023 Sep 3;20(5):653-667. doi: 10.1080/26408066.2023.2201240. Epub 2023 Apr 14.


Purpose: Resettled refugees in the U.S. face a disproportionately high risk of COVID-19 exposure, infection, and death. This study examines COVID-19 vaccination status among adult participants and their minor children, reasons for vaccine hesitancy, and predictors of vaccine uptake, as well as sources of COVID-19 news and information and trust in those sources.

Method: The data in this study were drawn from the Telehealth and COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in New York Refugee Communities Survey (N = 353), conducted March-May, 2022.

Results: The multivariate results indicate that in this sample of resettled refugees, those who reported higher levels of educational attainment, were from Afghanistan, and those who had fewer concerns about the vaccine were more likely to accept vaccination. The participants in this study identified local health workers, clinics, and community organizations - places where social workers are present - as both the largest source of nonsocial media COVID-19 news and information and the most trusted source of COVID-19 news and information.

Discussion: The implications from this study provide social workers with an understanding of the social and behavioral factors impacting vaccine uptake in refugee communities.

Conclusion: According to the NASW Code of Ethics, social workers must challenge inequalities that persist against marginalized groups, such as racial and ethnic health disparities. Social work practitioners can play an essential role in decreasing unjust health disparities by providing accurate, culturally appropriate information on public health concerns such as COVID-19 to their refugee clients and within interprofessional collaboration.

Keywords: COVID-19 health disparities; refugees; resettled refugees; vaccine hesitancy; vaccine uptake.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Refugees*
  • Vaccination Hesitancy


  • COVID-19 Vaccines