COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Methods: Driven by Community – Physician's Weekly

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Jan 17, 2023
The following is a summary of “Comparing community-driven COVID-19 vaccine distribution methods: Faith-based organizations vs. outpatient clinics,” published in the October 2022 issue of Family Medicine and Primary care by McElfish, et al.
Although few studies have focused on these obstacles as the reason for uneven vaccine uptake, minority and poor socioeconomic populations may encounter practical challenges to immunization, such as restricted access to healthcare and diminished confidence in healthcare institutions. With a focus on understanding the differences between the populations who accessed each distribution method, researchers collaborated with community partners to implement and evaluate two community-driven approaches to COVID-19 vaccination distribution—through faith-based organizations (FBOs) and outpatient clinics.
During their 15-minute post-vaccination observation time, visitors to the vaccination sites were contacted and asked to complete a survey. Chi-square tests were used to look at variations among distribution points.
A total of 927 individuals were recruited at clinical sites and 519 at FBOs during immunization sessions, yielding 1,476 valid responses to the survey. Significant racial/ethnic disparities existed, with distribution techniques at FBOs reaching a larger percentage of Hispanic/Latino and Marshallese participants. The FBO distribution technique resulted in a greater percentage of participants without insurance who were less educated and had worse health literacy. Participants in the FBO had a higher likelihood of saying they “absolutely” trusted the COVID-19 vaccination. Regarding the degree of vaccination hesitation, there was no discernible difference between participants from the FBO and those from the clinic. Regarding access, there were no statistically significant changes.
A larger percentage of Marshallese and Hispanic/Latino individuals used FBOs for immunization, indicating that working with FBOs might possibly enhance immunization uptake among minority populations and help reduce immunization inequities.
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