Factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine trust and hesitancy among adults with chronic conditions

Marina Arvanitis*, Lauren Opsasnick, Rachel O'Conor, Laura M. Curtis, Chandana Vuyyuru, Julia Yoshino Benavente, Stacy C. Bailey, Muriel Jean-Jacques, Michael S. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In a survey of older adults at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, we sought to describe expectations of trust in the safety and efficacy of a future COVID-19 vaccine, and level of hesitancy about receiving it. We also assessed whether these expectations were associated with known or suspected contributors to vaccine hesitancy, disparities in vaccine receipt, and potential targets for public health outreach. From May 1–22, 2020, we performed telephone surveys of 601 older adults with chronic conditions in metro Chicago about their COVID-19 experiences and levels of vaccine trust and hesitancy. All participants previously completed assessments of demographics, health status, health literacy and activation. Bivariate associations were performed using t-tests or one-way ANOVA, and multivariate analyses using least square means. Younger age (<60), Black race, greater complacency about contracting COVID-19, and lower confidence in state or local government were associated with significantly lower trust in a vaccine's safety and efficacy. Black race and greater complacency about contracting COVID-19 were associated with a significantly greater vaccine hesitancy. Amongst Black participants, vaccine hesitancy varied significantly by confidence in the federal government. Trust and hesitancy regarding a future COVID-19 vaccine were associated with age, race, complacency regarding contracting COVID-19, and confidence in government response to the pandemic, but not education, health literacy or activation. Therefore, efforts to vaccinate higher risk older adults must aim not only to educate and provide vaccine access, but engender trust in the vaccine development process and vaccination strategies at both the federal and the local level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101484
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Health activation
  • Health literacy
  • Racial disparities
  • Vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Informatics


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