Correlation between Parental Vaccine Hesitancy, Socio-demographic Factors, and Novel SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in Puerto Rico

Abner G. Alemán-Reyes, Ernie Díaz-Rivera, Antonio J. Rodríguez-Quiñones, Xiomara S. Molina-Pérez, Gabriela I. Oquendo-Claudio, Andy Vega, Maricarmen Colón-Díaz


Objective: Accurate and inaccurate vaccination information is readily accessible. Unfortunately, the information found by parents may be wrong. Due to the limited studies on this issue in Puerto Rico, we aim to correlate Puerto Rican parents’ sociodemographic characteristics to their vaccine hesitancy level. Methods: We quantified vaccine hesitancy in Puerto Rican parents and legal guardians who were at least 18 years old using the Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines survey, their attitudes towards a possible SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and the correlation between vaccine hesitancy and socio-demographic factors. The subjects were recruited through social networks and by distributing the online survey among pediatricians in Puerto Rico. Results: We identified a vaccine hesitancy prevalence of 38.3%, higher than has been found by other similar studies. The results also demonstrated a significant association between vaccine hesitancy, income, and the type of legal guardian. Participants with a household income less than $75,000 and a legal guardian were more likely to be vaccine-hesitant. Most participants surveyed (80.8%) would not immediately vaccinate their children against SARS-CoV-2, independent of vaccine-hesitancy status, citing general worries of vaccine safety and side effects. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the need for better vaccine-education campaigns in Puerto Rico and the challenges that SARS- CoV-2 vaccine fears pose to the proper control of the COVID-19 pandemic. It should be noted that at the time of the survey described herein, a COVID-19 vaccine had yet been developed.


vaccine hesitancy; anti-vaccine movement; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Puerto Rico

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