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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Emergency Department Patients’ COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Self-Reported Barriers


Introduction: This study surveyed adult emergency department (ED) patients and the adult companions of pediatric patients to determine whether rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination were comparable to that of the general population in the region. This study also sought to identify self-reported barriers to vaccination and possible areas for intervention.

Methods: A survey was administered to 607 adult ED patients or the adult companions of pediatric patients from three different regional hospitals to assess their COVID-19 vaccination status, COVID-19 vaccine barriers, and demographic information.

Results: Of the 2,267 adult patients/companions considered for enrollment, we approached 730 individuals about participating in the study. Of the individuals approached, 607 (41% male; mean age 47.0+17.4 years) consented to participate. A total of 403 (66.4%) participants had received at least one vaccine dose as compared to 70% of the adult population in the county where the three hospitals were located. Of those, 382 (94.8%) were fully vaccinated and among the individuals who were partially vaccinated the majority (17 of 21) had an appointment for their second dose. Of those approached, 204 (33.6%) were not vaccinated, with 66 (10.9% of the total population) expressing an interest in becoming vaccinated while the remaining 138 did not want to be vaccinated. Of those who wanted to be vaccinated 32% were waiting for more safety data, and of those who did not want to be vaccinated 26% were concerned about side effects and risks and 28% were waiting for more safety data.

Conclusion: Adult ED patients and adult companions of pediatric ED patients were vaccinated at a slightly lower rate than the general population in our county. A small but significant proportion of those who were unvaccinated expressed the desire to be vaccinated, indicating that the ED may be a suitable location to introduce a COVID-19 vaccination program.


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