We often use the term “anti-vaxer” to refer to any individuals who decline to be vaccinated.  Our preliminary findings from interviews reveal the picture is more complicated and this homogenous “anti-vax” label does not help us understand people’s hesitancy and, therefore, will not help efforts to increase vaccination rate.  Future research should explore this by interviewing individuals about their decisions around vaccines.


Marginalization & Covid-19 Quotes 
Marginalized communities have specific, historically rooted reasons for being skeptical of the medical establishment, including vaccine, and Covid-19 vaccine specifically 

Systemic racism remains a barrier for many

Access, especially in the beginning of the vaccine roll-out, was difficult for many individuals. Appointments could be hard to get, travel was sometimes required, and certain aspects of technology made accessing an appointment difficult 

“And then a lot more bipo populations and other marginalized groups having legitimate concerns with historic racism” (Community Health Worker) 

“I think that, BIPOC, they had some kind of marginalized identity that  historically these groups had, uh, like systemic racism that they’ve had to deal with” (Community Health Worker)

“There were a lot of people who cited the Tuskegee experiments. So going back to the, uh, the racism that we’ve seen, the systemic racism that we’ve seen”


Range of Reasons for Hesitancy  Quotes 
Community health workers heard a diverse range of reasons for avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine offered by individuals  “ I mean, I heard pretty much everything you could think of.”

“…It kind of went into bordering like conspiracy theories with people saying like, oh, it’s the government trying to control us.” 

You know,  I’ve heard some weird stuff. Someone, a few different people have told me salsa. The form of dance has stopped them from getting the vaccine. There’s,  a lot of weird things that people have mentioned. Some people have mentioned it to the movies. Actually, one of our old, um, team members had to talk with a guy because he said he didn’t wanna turn into like a zombie or something.”


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