Rural Americans’ COVID-19 Vaccine Perceptions and Willingness to Vaccinate against COVID-19 with Their Community Pharmacists: An Exploratory Study

Alexis M. Koskan, Iris E. LoCoco, Casey L. Daniel, Benjamin S. Teeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In early 2022 in the U.S., rural adults were the least likely to vaccinate against COVID-19 due to vaccine hesitancy and reduced healthcare access. This study explored the factors influencing rural adults’ COVID-19 vaccine perceptions and their acceptance of pharmacist-administered vaccination. We utilized phone-based semi-structured interviews with 30 adults living in rural regions of one southwestern state and analyzed the data using a team-based thematic analysis approach. Vaccine-willing participants described knowing other people affected by the virus and their desired protection from the virus. They reported trusting scientific institutions and the government to provide safe vaccines. Vaccine-hesitant populations, however, feared that the COVID-19 vaccine development process had been rushed, compromising the safety of these newer vaccines. Although they differed in the news sources they preferred for receiving COVID-19 vaccine information, both vaccine-willing and vaccine-hesitant participants described trusting local authorities, such as healthcare providers and county government officials, to provide accurate COVID-19 vaccine information. Regarding the acceptability of pharmacist-administered COVID-19 vaccinations, all but one participant described their acceptance of this healthcare delivery approach. Future outreach should leverage rural adults’ trust in local sources, including community pharmacists, deemed more convenient access points to healthcare, when addressing vaccine hesitancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number171
JournalVaccines
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • COVID-19 vaccine
  • access to care
  • immunizations
  • pharmacy
  • pharmacy-administered vaccination
  • qualitative research
  • rural
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine willingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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