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Why didn’t people in the US get COVID-19 boosters?

More than 80% of the people in the US who were eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster last autumn did not have the jab.

New research from the University of Arizona Health Sciences is identifying the reasons why.

“Our results indicate that we have a lot more work to do in terms of educating the public and healthcare providers about the importance of staying up to date on COVID-19 boosters,” said first author Elizabeth Jacobs, Professor of Epidemiology.

Nearly 40% of the 2196 survey participants reported they did not get a booster shot because of a prior infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The second most common reason was concern about vaccine side effects (31.5%), followed by believing that the booster would not provide additional protection over the vaccines already received (28.6%) or that it would not protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection (23.1%).

Some of the answers provided differed by characteristics such as age, ethnicity and education, suggesting that a variety of strategies may be needed to improve vaccination rates.

This project was conducted through Arizona CoVHORT, a longitudinal study launched in May 2020 that tracks the acute and long-term impacts of SARS-CoV-2 infection among Arizonans. The researchers sent a questionnaire to CoVHORT participants asking if they had got the booster and, if not, to select the reason or reasons for not having done so.

Image credit | iStock

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