According to the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy is defined as “the delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccination services”. In fact, due to the recent global resurgence of highly infectious vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as one of the ten greatest threats to global health in 2019. Specifically, for COVID-19, the availability and approval of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines had offered a glimmer of hope and optimism to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the return to pre-pandemic normalcy. However, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines on population-level reduction in transmission and severe disease outcomes due to COVID-19 ultimately relies on high vaccine uptake. With the emergence of new variants that may be less effective to the current COVID-19 vaccines and the waning effect of COVID-19 vaccines after a certain period of time, getting a booster shot of the vaccine is ever more important to reduce infection and transmission risks.
In British Columbia, more than 8 in 10 of the eligible population (5 and older) have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while less than half of eligible adults have received their third dose (booster dose) [data from January 2022]. Although a large proportion of the population has been vaccinated, there is still a group of vaccine-hesitant individuals amongst those who are unvaccinated.
Our analyses capitalizes on the COVID-19 vaccine-related questions of the BC Mix Study. Specifically, we aim for our vaccine hesitancy studies to:
- Assess the relationship of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and interpersonal contact and evaluate their impact on COVID-19 transmission
- Monitor vaccine hesitancy and beliefs related to COVID-19 vaccine in BC