COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in California state prisons

May 12, 2021

Elizabeth T. Chin, B.S., Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA,, David Leidner, Ph.D., San Luis Obispo, CA, Theresa Ryckman, B.A., Yiran E. Liu, B.S., Lea Prince, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, Fernando Alarid-Escudero, Ph.D., Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, Aguascalientes, Mexico, Jason R. Andrews, M.D., Joshua A. Salomon, Ph.D., Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, Ph.D., David M. Studdert, LL.B., Sc.D.


Researchers at Stanford University evaluated the proportion of residents in California state prisons that accepted at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna C¬OVID-19 vaccine. Between December 22, 2020 and March 4, 2021, anonymized data from state prison records was used to estimate the percentage of vaccine acceptance across different race, ethnicity, and age groups. 66.5% of those offered a vaccine accepted at least one dose. Acceptance, however, significantly varied by race: 72.6% of Hispanic residents, 72.1% of white residents, 66.7% of American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander residents accepted the dose, whereas only 54.9% of Black residents accepted the dose, with fewer than half of young black residents accepting the dose. The authors also note that of those who declined the vaccine, 45.9% of residents reoffered the vaccine accepted the offer, suggesting that with time and information, individuals can shift from vaccine skepticism to vaccine acceptance. However, the authors also emphasize that there is still much to be done to build trust with this community.

Chin ET, Leidner D, Ryckman T, et al. Covid-19 Vaccine Acceptance in California State Prisons. N Engl J Med 2021; published online May 12. DOI:10.1056/NEJMc2105282.

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