Health Expect. 2022 Oct 19. doi: 10.1111/hex.13613. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups within high-income countries are at risk of being left behind by the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. They face both access and attitudinal barriers, including low trust in government and health authorities.
OBJECTIVE: To explore perceptions and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination, as well as facilitators, barriers and strategies to promote uptake among CALD residents of Western Australia (WA), where there were almost no COVID-19 cases for 2 years.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Perth, WA’s capital, was chosen as the state’s study site because most of the state’s CALD population lives there. Eleven semistructured in-depth interviews and three focus groups (with 37 participants) were conducted with CALD residents between August and October 2021. Thematic analysis was conducted, informed by the ‘Capability’, ‘Opportunity’, ‘Motivation’, ‘Behaviour’ model.
RESULTS: CALD participants faced barriers including a lack of knowledge about COVID-19 and the vaccines, low self-rated English proficiency and education levels, misinformation, passive government communication strategies and limited access to vaccine clinics/providers. They were, however, motivated to vaccinate by the imminent opening of state and international borders, trust in government and healthcare authorities, travel intentions and the desire to protect themselves and others.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite high levels of trust and significant desire for vaccines among CALD communities in Perth, current strategies were not meeting their needs and the community remains at risk from COVID-19. Tailored intervention strategies are required to provide knowledge, address misinformation and facilitate access to ensure uptake of COVID-19 vaccines-including for additional doses-amongst CALD communities. Governments should work with trusted CALD community members to disseminate tailored COVID-19 vaccine information and adequately translated resources.
PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: The Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Community Reference Group at Telethon Kids Institute consulted on this project in September 2020; Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services consulted on and facilitated the focus groups.