(HealthDay News) — Discrimination in U.S. health care settings is associated with differences in the prevalence of nonvaccination against COVID-19, according to research published in the April 21 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Laurie D. Elam-Evans, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data collected from 1,154,347 respondents to the National Immunization Survey-Adult COVID Module to examine the association between reported experiences of discrimination in U.S. health care settings and COVID-19 vaccination status and intent to be vaccinated by race and ethnicity from April 22, 2021, to Nov. 26, 2022.
The researchers found that 3.5 percent of adults aged 18 years and older reported having worse health care experiences compared with persons of other races and ethnicities (i.e., experienced discrimination), with higher proportions reported by those identifying as non-Hispanic Black or African American, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic multiple or other race, Hispanic or Latino, non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NHOPI), and non-Hispanic Asian compared with non-Hispanic Whites (10.7, 7.2, 6.7, 4.5, 3.9, and 2.8 percent, respectively, versus 1.6 percent). The unadjusted differences in prevalence of being unvaccinated against COVID-19 were higher among respondents reporting discrimination versus those not reporting discrimination overall and among NHOPI, White, multiple or other race, Black, Asian, and Hispanic adults (5.3, 19.2, 10.5, 5.7, 4.6, 4.3, and 2.6, respectively). Similar findings were seen for vaccination intent.
“Reported racial and ethnic discrimination appears to be associated with at least some disparities in COVID-19 vaccine receipt; thus, eliminating inequities in health care experiences might reduce some of this disparity and potentially increase vaccination coverage among adults,” the authors write.