A qualitative investigation of facilitators and barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccines among Racialized and Indigenous Peoples in Canada

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    Abstract

    Structural and systemic inequalities can contribute to susceptibility to COVID-19 disease and limited access to vaccines. Recognizing that Racialized and Indigenous Peoples may experience unique barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, this study explored early COVID-19 vaccine accessibility, including barriers and potential solutions to vaccine access, for these communities in Canada. We conducted semi-structured interviews about challenges to accessing COVID-19 vaccination with Racialized and Indigenous Peoples, including linguistic minorities and newcomers, in Spring 2021, just as COVID-19 vaccines were becoming more widely available in Canada. Participants were purposely selected from respondents to a Canadian national online survey. Three researchers analyzed the interviews for emergent themes using a descriptive content analysis approach in NVivo. At the time of the interview, interview participants (N = 27) intended to receive (n = 15) or had received (n = 11) at least one vaccine dose, or did not state their status (n = 1). Participants described multiple barriers to COVID-19 vaccination that they personally experienced and/or anticipated they or others could experience–including technology requirements, language barriers, lack of identification documentation, and travel challenges–as well as related solutions. These were organized into three broad categories: 1) COVID-19 disease and vaccination information, 2) vaccination booking procedures, and 3) vaccination sites. These structural and systemic barriers during the initial months of vaccine rollout substantially restricted participants’ COVID-19 vaccination access, even when they were eager to get vaccinated, and should be addressed early in vaccine rollouts to facilitate optimal uptake for everyone everywhere.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2129827
    JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
    Volume18
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Keywords

    • COVID-19
    • Indigenous Peoples
    • Racialized Peoples
    • access
    • equity
    • vaccine

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