Understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the Hispanic adult population of South Carolina: a complex mixed-method design evaluation study.

Publication date: Nov 28, 2023

In August 2021, only 47. 6% of all eligible residents in South Carolina (SC) had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with only 41% having completed their vaccination series. Additionally, only 27% of all Hispanics in SC had completed their vaccination series compared to 34. 1% of non-Hispanics. Vaccine hesitancy is a complex phenomenon that is context and vaccine-specific. Focusing on unvaccinated Hispanics living in rural areas of SC, this study aimed to identify barriers to vaccination and provide an educational intervention designed to address vaccine hesitancy. A complex mixed-methods evaluation design was used to conduct this study. First, in-person vaccine educational sessions were implemented, along with a pre-post-test survey, to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes, motivations, barriers, and intentions to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Second, in-person follow-up focus groups were held with the same participants to gather in-depth insight about participants’ knowledge and attitudes about the COVID-19 vaccination. Third, an online follow-up survey was conducted to assess the effect of the training and discussion session on COVID-19 vaccination. Study outcomes were assessed among the 17 individuals who participated in the educational sessions and focus group discussions. Findings revealed that for unvaccinated Hispanics living in South Carolina; vaccine hesitancy was primarily driven by: 1) misinformation and information coming from unverified sources and 2) negative perceptions of the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, participants were fearful that the vaccine development was rushed and that the vaccines might contain questionable ingredients that could cause strong side effects or even death. Participants were also concerned that vaccination might cause them to get sick and be hospitalized, which would have financial implications since they could not afford healthcare or take time off work. Program implementation and mass communication campaigns should focus on COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness, including side effects, what to expect after being vaccinated, and how to look for information from reputable sources. The educational session implemented proved to be effective and helped reduce vaccine hesitancy since most participants (80%) self-reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccine after program participation.

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Concepts Keywords
August Attitudes
Healthcare Barriers
Hispanics COVID-19
Misinformation Focus groups
Mixed method
Participants’ perceptions
Vaccine hesitancy


Type Source Name
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease VO population
disease VO dose
disease VO vaccination
disease VO vaccine
disease VO unvaccinated
disease IDO intervention
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH death
disease VO time
disease VO vaccinated
disease VO effective
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
disease MESH panics
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH infection
disease VO report
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease VO vaccine transportation
drug DRUGBANK Esomeprazole
disease VO vaccine effectiveness
disease MESH reinfection
drug DRUGBANK Polyethylene glycol
disease VO injection
disease VO Viruses
disease MESH measles
pathway KEGG Measles
disease VO Thing
disease IDO country
disease VO immunization
disease IDO process
disease VO protocol
disease VO organization
disease VO USDA
disease VO USA
drug DRUGBANK Huperzine B
disease VO vaccination coverage
disease MESH Morbidity
drug DRUGBANK Dihydroergocristine
drug DRUGBANK Gold

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