Reasons for COVID-19 vaccine refusal among people incarcerated in Canadian federal prisons.

Citation metadata

From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 17, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,818 words
Lexile Measure: 1350L

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Background Vaccine uptake rates have been historically low in correctional settings. To better understand vaccine hesitancy in these high-risk settings, we explored reasons for COVID-19 vaccine refusal among people in federal prisons. Methods Three maximum security all-male federal prisons in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario (Canada) were chosen, representing prisons with the highest proportions of COVID-19 vaccine refusal. Using a qualitative descriptive design and purposive sampling, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with incarcerated people who had previously refused at least one COVID-19 vaccine until data saturation was achieved. An inductive-deductive thematic analysis of audio-recorded interview transcripts was conducted using the Conceptual Model of Vaccine Hesitancy. Results Between May 19-July 8, 2021, 14 participants were interviewed (median age: 30 years; n = 7 Indigenous, n = 4 visible minority, n = 3 White). Individual-, interpersonal-, and system-level factors were identified. Three were particularly relevant to the correctional setting: 1) Risk perception: participants perceived that they were at lower risk of COVID-19 due to restricted visits and interactions; 2) Health care services in prison: participants reported feeling "punished" and stigmatized due to strict COVID-19 restrictions, and failed to identify personal benefits of vaccination due to the lack of incentives; 3) Universal distrust: participants expressed distrust in prison employees, including health care providers. Interpretation Reasons for vaccine refusal among people in prison are multifaceted. Educational interventions could seek to address COVID-19 risk misconceptions in prison settings. However, impact may be limited if trust is not fostered and if incentives are not considered in vaccine promotion.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A696221700