Wickersham, J., Meyer, J., Shenoi, S., Altice, F., Barakat, L., Virata, M., Olivares, M., Maviglia, F., Khati, A., & Shrestha, R.
Frontiers in Medicine, June 2022. Abstract
Background: Approximately 215 million Americans have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, representing over 65% of the total population. People with HIV (PWH) may be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection or severe disease, elevating the importance of COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the population. We report results from a national survey of PWH to evaluate the likelihood of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Methods: We conducted an online survey of 1,030 PWH living in the United States between December 6, 2020 and January 8, 2021 to evaluate likelihood of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Results: Overall, participants were highly willing to be vaccinated, with 83.8% stating they “strongly agree” (65.7%) or “somewhat agree” (18.1%). Participants’ top vaccine-related concerns were side-effects (39.3%), safety (14.7%), and fair/equitable distribution of the vaccine to affected communities (13.6%). Participants were more willing to be vaccinated if they reported receiving an annual influenza vaccination (p < 0.001), had previously tested positive for (p = 0.043) COVID-19, had been hospitalized for (p = 0.027) COVID-19 infection, or had an undetectable HIV viral load (p = 0.002). Black (p < 0.001), politically conservative (p < 0.001), and participants with an annual income of ≤$19,999 (p = 0.005) were significantly less willing to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Conclusions: The vast majority of PWH were willing to be vaccinated, though predominantly those who were already engaged in HIV care or directly affected by COVID-19. Findings from this large survey of PWH suggest intensive outreach efforts are needed to support engagement in vaccination programs, particularly among Black and politically conservative PWH.