COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Delaware’s Underserved Communities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Delaware Journal of Public Health

Publication Date



Background and Objective Vaccine hesitancy may be one of the greatest challenges to conquering the COVID-19 pandemic. Underserved communities across the U.S. have been suffering from the pandemic in unique ways, and vaccine hesitancy may exacerbate or prolong these issues. However, the prevalence of vaccine uptake and hesitancy in these vulnerable populations is unknown. The present study aimed to investigate: (1) prevalence of COVID vaccine uptake and COVID vaccine hesitancy in Delaware’s underserved communities; (2) factors (i.e., demographic, socioeconomic characteristics, as well as COVID-related behaviors) associated with vaccine hesitancy; and (3) specific concerns about COVID vaccines. Materials and Methods Data were extracted from a survey conducted in Delaware’s underserved communities from March 4, 2021 to May 25, 2021. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with vaccine hesitancy. Results Results from our survey indicated that vaccine uptake is lower in Delaware’s underserved communities than Delaware overall and the national average. In addition, a considerable proportion of participants were categorized as vaccine hesitant. We also found that being black increased the likelihood of vaccine hesitancy for the COVID-19 vaccine, which is consistent with prior studies on vaccine hesitancy. Results also indicated that having been tested for COVID in the past decreased the odds of vaccine hesitancy. However, we did not find that demographic or socioeconomic characteristics played a role in vaccine hesitancy in Delaware’s underserved communities. Conclusion and Relevance Our study represents a critial first step in understanding the determinants driving COVID vaccine uptake and hesitancy. Identifying key factors and causes for vaccine hesitancy may help in establishing novel strategies that counteract low vaccination rates in underserved communities.