COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Acceptance: The Influence of Communication between Black Americans and Healthcare Professionals

Sarah A. Geegan, Kimberly A. Parker, Jardin Dogan-Dixon, Bobi Ivanov, Adam Tristan, Diane Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, research is needed to translate knowledge of vaccine attitudes into strategic interventions aiming to increase vaccine uptake. The current study gleaned formative data on vaccination attitudes among underserved Black populations in the United States, with particular focus on the impact of conversations between Black individuals and medical professionals. Historically, Black Americans have reported mistrust with the American healthcare system, as a result of systemic and systematic mistreatment. The current investigation aimed to better understand Black people's experiences with medical professionals within the novel context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, researchers facilitated community-engaged focus groups and individual interviews to better understand Black individuals' attitudes about COVID-19 vaccine uptake. In partnership with predominantly Black churches and a local university, investigators recruited community members to share their perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 vaccines, and interactions with the medical community. This insight can be used to strategically design messaging interventions grounded in theories of persuasion to promote vaccination, including boosters, among hesitant Black individuals. This audience insight is useful as individuals who remain hesitant to receive COVID-19 vaccines may require tailored, sophisticated interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 International Journal of Experimental Research and Review. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Disparities
  • Medical Professionals
  • Qualitative
  • Vaccine Hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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