Intersecting Inequities in COVID-19 Vaccination: A Discourse Analysis of Information Use and Decision-Making Among Ethnically Diverse Parents in Canada

Emmanuel A. Marfo, Terra Manca, Eunah Cha, Laura Aylsworth, S. Michelle Driedger, Samantha B. Meyer, Catherine Pelletier, Ève Dubé, Shannon E. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about how intersecting social privilege and disadvantage contribute to inequities in COVID-19 information use and vaccine access. This study explored how social inequities intersect to shape access to and use of COVID-19 information and vaccines among parents in Canada. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews on COVID-19 vaccination information use with ethnically diverse parents of children ages 11 to 18 years from April to August 2022. We purposefully invited parents from respondents to a national online survey to ensure representation across diverse intersecting social identities. Five researchers coded transcripts in NVivo using a discourse analysis approach informed by intersectionality. Our analysis focused on use of vaccine information and intersecting privileges and oppressions, including identifying with equity-denied group(s). Results: Interview participants (N = 48) identified as ethnically diverse non-Indigenous (n = 40) and Indigenous (n = 8) Peoples from seven Canadian provinces. Racialized minority or Indigenous participants reflected on historical and contemporary events of racism from government and medical institutions as barriers to trust and access to COVID-19 information, vaccines, and the Canadian healthcare system. Participants with privileged social locations showed greater comfort in resisting public health measures. Despite the urgency to receive COVID-19 vaccines, information gaps and transportation barriers delayed vaccination among some participants living with chronic medical conditions. Conclusion: Historicization of colonialism and ongoing events of racism are a major barrier to trusting public health information. Fostering partnerships with trusted leaders and/or healthcare workers from racialized communities may help rebuild trust. Healthcare systems need to continuously implement strategies to restore trust with Indigenous and racialized populations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • Ethnically diverse parents
  • Health inequities
  • Information


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