Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptability and Financial Incentives among Unhoused People in Los Angeles County: a Three-Stage Field Survey.


Unhoused people have higher COVID-19 mortality and lower vaccine uptake than housed community members. Understanding vaccine hesitancy among unhoused people is key for developing programs that address their unique needs. A three-round, rapid, field-based survey was conducted to describe attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination. Round 1 assessed vaccine brand preference, round 2 assessed intention to accept a financial incentive for vaccination, and round 3 measured vaccine uptake and assessed reasons for vaccine readiness during implementation of a financial incentive program. A total of 5177 individuals were approached at COVID-19 vaccination events for unhoused people in Los Angeles County from May through November 2021. Analyses included 4949 individuals: 3636 (73.5%) unsheltered and 1313 (26.5%) sheltered. Per self-report, 2008 (40.6%) were already vaccinated, 1732 (35%) wanted to get vaccinated, 359 (7.3%) were not yet ready, and 850 (17.2%) did not want to get vaccinated. Brand preference was evenly split among participants (Moderna 31.0%, J&J 35.5%, either 33.5%, p = 0.74). Interest in a financial incentive differed between those who were not yet ready and those who did not want to get vaccinated (43.2% vs. 16.2%, p < 0.01). After implementing a financial incentive program, 97.4% of participants who indicated interest in vaccination were vaccinated that day; the financial incentive was the most cited reason for vaccine readiness (n = 731, 56%). This study demonstrated the utility of an iterative, field-based assessment for program implementation during the rapidly evolving pandemic. Personal engagement, a variety of brand choices, and financial incentives could be important for improving vaccine uptake among unhoused people.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View