In their recent pre-print, not yet peer-reviewed, CITF Leadership Group member Dr. Gina Ogilvie, VSRG Working Group member Dr. Manish Sadarangani and colleagues in British Columbia explored COVID-19 vaccination intention among women and gender diverse individuals living with HIV. The authors report that the intention to get a vaccine in these groups was significantly lower than among their peers, despite the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for people living with HIV (PLWH).

The authors suggest tailored messaging and outreach are necessary to support individuals in making informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Key Points:

  • Of 5,588 women or gender diverse participants who took part in the study, 69 (1.2%) were people living with HIV; 55 of the 69 (79.7%) reported being on antiretroviral therapy.
  • About 65% of the women and gender diverse participants living with HIV reported being “very or somewhat likely” to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, compared with approximately 80% of women and gender diverse participants not living with HIV.
  • Among participants living with HIV, those with greater vaccine confidence, with positive attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine, and those who were more strongly influenced by social norms to vaccinate were more likely to get vaccinated.

As reported in a recent study by CITF-funded researcher Dr. Andrés Finzi and Dr. Cécile Tremblay, both from the University of Montreal, COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be effective in PLWH. Yet in this study, only 65% of women and gender diverse people living with HIV showed intention to get a COVID vaccine. Dr. Kaida and colleagues suggest that targeted and consistent messaging from family doctors, healthcare workers, and public health officials highlighting the safety, effectiveness and benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines could be an important way to improve vaccine confidence and attitudes. In addition, authors also state that reinforcing the recommendation that people living with HIV specifically should get vaccinated can also be a helpful strategy to improve uptake.

 

Kaida A, Brotto LA,  Murray MCM,  Cote HCF,  Albert AY,  Nicholson V,  Gormley R,  Gordon S,  Booth A,  Smith LW,  Baaske A,  Galea LAM,  Sadarangani M, Ogilvie GS. Intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by HIV status among a population-based sample of women and gender diverse individuals in British Columbia, Canada. Aug 22, 2021: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.19.21262249v1 doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.08.19.21262249