COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitance in Black and Latinx Communities in Georgia: Garnering Effective Outreach and Research in Georgia for Impact Alliance (GEORGIA) Community Engagement Alliance Against (CEAL) COVID-19 Open Access

Boily, Marisa (Spring 2022)

Permanent URL:


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color across the US, particularly those which are majority Black and Latinx (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022b). Garnering Effective Outreach and Research in Georgia for Impact Alliance (GEORGIA) Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities is a collaborative initiative between Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University, Dekalb County Board of Health, and Southside Medical Center. GEORGIA CEAL conducts community-engaged research to understand factors that contribute to the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 in African American and Latinx communities in Georgia to positively impact issues of vaccine hesitancy and mistrust toward acceptance and confidence (Morehouse School of Medicine, 2021). As part of the GEORGIA CEAL workflow, 10 focus group discussions were conducted during January and February of 2021. Groups were segmented to garner unique perspectives from Black participants under 60 years of age (4 groups), Black participants over 60 years of age (2 groups), and Latinx participants under 60 years of age (4 groups; 2 in English, 2 in Spanish). Three main factors were discussed regarding participants propensity towards being vaccinated against COVID-19: their perceptions of the vaccines’ safety, emotional responses to the pandemic, and the degree to which they were informed about the COVID-19 vaccine. Facilitators of COVID-19 vaccination included knowing others who received a vaccine and, among Latinx focus groups, being motivated by prospects to travel to visit family outside of the US again. Fears of both short- and long-term side effects and distrust in the safety of COVID-19 clinical trial results were barriers to COVID-19 vaccination mentioned in focus groups. Perceptions of medical malfeasance may be mitigated by involving groups that reflect the respective race, ethnicity, and culture of target populations in developing, testing, and creating guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine use. Strengthening collaborations with Black and Latinx groups in Georgia is critical to building trust between these communities and the medical and public health establishment that has historically perpetuated racial health inequities. 

Table of Contents

List of Figures


List of Tables


Acronym List


Chapter 1: Introduction 1


Chapter 2: Literature Review 4


Chapter 3: Methods 19


Chapter 4: Results 23


Chapter 5: Discussion and Conclusion 45


Chapter 6: Public Health Implications and Recommendations 53


References 55

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files