Willingness to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine among Residents of Slum Settlements
Slum residents are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Without a specific treatment, vaccination became the main strategy against COVID-19. In this study, we determined the rate and factors associated with the willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19 among slum residents and their main reasons associated with the vaccine intention. The study was conducted in Pau da Lima, a slum community in Salvador Brazil. In total, 985 residents were interviewed. Among them 66.0% (650/985) were willing to get vaccinated, 26.1% (257/985) were hesitant to take the vaccine and 7.9% (78/285) were not sure. The main reasons cited for vaccine hesitancy or being unsure were concerns about vaccine efficacy and potential side effects. In contrast, the main reasons cited for wanting the vaccine were the high incidence of COVID-19 cases and participants’ self-perception of their own health history. Multivariate analysis identified that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was associated with younger age and low social capital, summarized as low perceived importance of vaccination to protect one’s family, friends and community. Slum residents have been less willing to vaccinate than the general population. Social capital presents a critical opportunity in the design of communication campaigns to increase COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in slum settings.