Introduction: In a multi-center prospective cohort of essential workers, we assessed knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) by vaccine intention, prior SARS-CoV-2 positivity, and occupation, and their impact on vaccine uptake over time. Methods: Initiated in July 2020, the HEROES-RECOVER cohort provided socio-demographics and COVID-19 vaccination data. Using two follow-up surveys approximately three months apart, COVID-19 vaccine KAP, intention, and receipt was collected; the first survey categorized participants as reluctant, reachable, or endorser. Results: A total of 4,803 participants were included in the analysis. Most (70%) were vaccine endorsers, 16% were reachable, and 14% were reluctant. By May 2021, 77% had received at least one vaccine dose. KAP responses strongly predicted vaccine uptake, particularly positive attitudes about safety (aOR = 5.46, 95% CI: 1.4–20.8) and effectiveness (aOR = 5.0, 95% CI: 1.3–19.1). Participants’ with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection were 22% less likely to believe the COVID-19 vaccine was effective compared with uninfected participants (aOR 0.78, 95% CI: 0.64–0.96). This was even more pronounced in first responders compared with other occupations, with first responders 42% less likely to believe in COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (aOR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.40–0.84). Between administrations of the two surveys, 25% of reluctant, 56% reachable, and 83% of endorser groups received the COVID-19 vaccine. The reachable group had large increases in positive responses for questions about vaccine safety (10% of vaccinated, 34% of unvaccinated), and vaccine effectiveness (12% of vaccinated, 27% of unvaccinated). Discussion: Our study demonstrates attitudes associated with COVID-19 vaccine uptake and a positive shift in attitudes over time. First responders, despite potential high exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and participants with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection were more vaccine reluctant. Conclusions: Perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine can shift over time. Targeting messages about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness in reducing SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and illness severity may increase vaccine uptake for reluctant and reachable participants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases