Assessing and addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in a West Texas Free Clinic through motivational interview-guided intervention
Vaccine hesitancy is a public health issue that threatens successful prevention of vaccine-preventable diseases. The Free Clinic at Lubbock Impact serves rural, West Texas uninsured patients. In recognition of low vaccination rates among this population, an initiative was undertaken to better understand factors contributing to COVID-19 vaccine reluctance and conduct interventions to reduce hesitancy.
Patients at the Free Clinic between January 2022 and March 2022 received a voluntary survey regarding their COVID-19 vaccination status, perceived barriers to vaccination, and factors influencing vaccination status with Likert-scale response options. Following the first 3 weeks of data collection, an educational intervention was designed and implemented for unvaccinated participants. The intervention included a motivational interview, pamphlet review, and exit survey to assess future likelihood of vaccination.
A total of 161 survey responses were obtained from the initial survey with a total unique patient population of 138. Of the 138 unique patients surveyed, 73 reported as vaccinated and 65 reported as not vaccinated against COVID-19. For hesitancy factors among unvaccinated participants, the mode for the “Extremely Important” hesitancy factor was “Personal Preference”.
37 of the 41 unvaccinated participants who received an intervention reported liking the discussion of the COVID-19 vaccine (90.2%), 4 reported they were not interested (9.8%), and 0 reported disliking the intervention. Half of the respondents indicated an increased likelihood of future vaccination.
The goal of reducing vaccine hesitancy at The Free Clinic was successful. These findings support the benefits of openness to educational interventions among vulnerable populations.
Copyright (c) 2022 Esere Nesiama, Rachel Vopni, Nayeli Fuentes, Fiona Prabhu, Kelly Bennett
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