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Study says vaccine hesitancy is complex, but may be minimized when recommendations come from a trusted physician


April 4, 2022

Chicago , IL — Doctors and researchers from Jesse Brown VAMC published a study focused on Veterans' willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The research shows the importance of patients’ trust in physicians, healthcare organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers & the government when making health decisions.

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (JBVAMC) researchers surveyed and interviewed over 180 unvaccinated Veterans at JBVAMC who received both VA care and a diagnostic test for COVID-19. The study found that the 40% of its participants disagreed that they would get the COVID-19 vaccine. Those participants were more likely younger, female, and to have fewer comorbid medical conditions. In-depth interviews revealed several barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, including lack of trust in the government and vaccine manufacturers, concerns about the speed of vaccine development, fear of adverse effects, and fear the vaccine was a tool of racism. However, researchers found that willingness to accept vaccination was associated with reliance on a doctor or family member’s recommendation and with a belief that vaccines are effective.

“This study fills a hole in current research on willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, focusing solely on Veterans,” said Dr. Howard Gordon, co-author of the study and doctor at JBVAMC. “It highlights the complexity of patients’ deliberation about COVID-19 vaccination and may help physicians and other health care providers understand patients’ perspectives about COVID-19 vaccination.”

To read the study in its entirety, visit BMC Infectious Diseases. Jesse Brown VA Medical Center has provided more than 58,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Veterans, spouses, caregivers, and employees so far. To learn more about the different services Jesse Brown VA Medical Center offers to veterans, visit our website.

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