COVID-19: Perceived Infection Risk and Barriers to Uptake of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines Among Community Healthcare Workers

Tolulope B. Famuyiro, Abayomi Ogunwale, Jude des Bordes, Mukaila Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The health and economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic have prompted the need for a timely and effective vaccine development. While the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in record time is being hailed as a scientific feat, skepticism about the safety, side effects, and even its long-term effects remain. Acceptance of the vaccine may therefore be a challenge among healthcare workers (HCWs), whose role is considered a proxy to determining the COVID-19 vaccine uptake response by the general population. Methods: In December 2020, prior to the arrival and receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, we conducted a cross-sectional survey to assess the readiness for vaccine uptake among HCWs at three community-based, university-affiliated health centers. Results: A total of 205 (82%) respondents out of 250 completed the questionnaire. Fifty-four percent of respondents agreed to receive vaccine once available. Females (odds ratio (OR) =0.22, p=0.014), non-Hispanic Blacks (OR=0.066, p=0.010), and Hispanics (OR=0.11, p=0.037) were less likely to accept the vaccine. Respondents with moderate-risk perception were more likely to accept (OR=2.79, p=0.045) compared to those with low-risk perception while no association was found between high-risk perception and vaccine acceptance (p=0.226). After adjusting for perceived risk, sex, race/ethnicity, and age, acceptance in non-Hispanic Black population remained statistically significant (adjusted OR=0.07, p=0.014), with Hispanic (AOR=0.12, p=0.051) showing a trend. Conclusions: Enthusiastic acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine is lacking among surveyed HCWs of certain racial/ethnic groups. Provision of resources and public health interventions targeting underserved, minority populations are necessary to halt opposition to vaccine uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1549
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccine
  • Healthcare workers
  • Vaccine hesitance
  • Vaccine uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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