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Jodian Pinkney, MD

Pronouns:

She/Her/Hers

Rank:

Fellow

Institution:

MGH

Department:

Infectious Diseases

Authors:

Jodian Pinkney, Kamali Carroll, Lenroy Bryan, Givana Witter, Dina Ashour, Fatma Shebl, Emily Hyle, Laura Bogart, Bisola Ojikutu

Principal Investigator:

Bisola Ojikutu

COVID-19 vaccine uptake, vaccine hesitancy and medical mistrust among reproductive-aged women in Jamaica

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of including pregnant women and other women of reproductive age in all tiers of vaccine research. The exclusion of pregnant women from the original COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials led to a significant void in safety and efficacy data, contributing to vaccine hesitancy (defined as a delay or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services) and low vaccine uptake among this group. Other factors contributing to low vaccine uptake among this group remain largely unexplored.

In the future including women of reproductive age in vaccine research could provide invaluable information for vaccine decision-making conversations, local and national vaccine strategic planning and policy guidance.

Overview

Little is known about COVID-19 vaccine uptake, vaccine hesitancy and medical mistrust among reproductive-aged women in Jamaica.

 

Methods

We conducted a cross-sectional, web-based survey of a convenience sample of reproductive-aged women (patients, providers, and staff) at a tertiary care hospital in Jamaica from February 1- 8, 2022 to assess COVID-19 vaccine receipt, hesitancy (defined as a delay or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services) and medical mistrust (e.g., “I don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine”). We employed multivariable robust Poisson regression to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for vaccination, hesitancy and mistrust in pregnant versus non-pregnant women, adjusting for age, education and comorbidities.

 

Results

98 reproductive-aged women had complete survey responses available for the time period February 1-2, 2022. 42% were pregnant and 58% were non-pregnant. Pregnant women were younger than non-pregnant women [M(SD) = 30 (±4.8) and 36 (±7.2), respectively]. Vaccine uptake among pregnant women was 20% compared with 78% among non-pregnant women, (aPR=0.47, 95%CI=0.28 – 0.77; p=0.003). Pregnant women were more likely to agree with several mistrust statements compared with non-pregnant women including “I don’t trust the COVID-19 vaccine” (aPR=3.13, 95%CI=1.37 – 7.16; p=0.01).

 

Conclusion

Preliminary findings suggest that pregnant women in Jamaica may be less likely to get vaccinated compared with non-pregnant reproductive-aged women. Pregnant women may also have higher levels of mistrust. Rapid dissemination of pregnancy-related COVID-19 vaccine safety data, by trusted sources, may lead to improved vaccine uptake in this group.