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People who inject drugs (PWID) are at greater risk for severe morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 due to comorbid, chronic, medical conditions and structural inequities associated with housing instability and incarceration. As such, they are a population that would greatly benefit from COVID-19 vaccination. We surveyed 350 syringe exchange clients between March 2021 and June 2021 to collect information on vaccine uptake among PWID, facilitators and barriers to vaccination, and demographic correlates of vaccine hesitancy. Findings highlight that among PWID, vaccination access was remarkably low with only 10% of the sample receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine acceptability among people who were vaccinated was 42% highlighting barriers to access. Motivation for vaccination included a desire to keep family members and other community members safe and a desire to feel safe around other people. Barriers to vaccination included concerns about vaccine side effects, lack of concern surrounding the effects of COVID-19, and insufficient information about how the vaccine works, along with general distrust of the vaccine development and deployment process. There is a need for structural interventions and individual behavioral interventions to improve COVID-19 vaccine access and uptake among PWID. Limitations and implications for next steps and future directions are discussed. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.


Camille C Cioffi, Derek Kosty, Sarah Nachbar, Christopher G Capron, Anne Marie Mauricio, Hannah F Tavalire. COVID-19 vaccine deliberation among people who inject drugs. Drug and alcohol dependence reports. 2022 Jun;3:100046

PMID: 35345466

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