To identify the factors contributing to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine hesitancy in Grenada.
A phenomenological study was conducted using semi-structured interviews at vaccination and pop-up testing clinics during a spike in COVID-19 cases on the island. Interview questions were developed using the health belief model related to perceived threat of COVID-19, perceived benefits of and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination, and cues to action. Data were analyzed using a deductive approach to identify themes, categories, and subcategories.
Twenty-five interviews were transcribed and coded. In all, 68% of participants were unvaccinated, 12% were partially vaccinated, and 20% were fully vaccinated. Data analysis revealed two main themes: facilitators and barriers. Factors more likely to encourage vaccination (facilitators) included trust in medical advice and vaccine efficacy, social responsibility, and vaccine mandates for travel, employment, and social activities. Factors hindering vaccination (barriers) included: perceived low threat of COVID-19; preference for natural remedies; concerns about contraindications because of underlying health conditions; fear; mistrust of vaccines and related messaging; vaccine accessibility; and the many different information sources.
Overcoming vaccine hesitancy is key to combating the detrimental effects of COVID-19 in Grenada. Public health interventions and policies that address barriers and capitalize on facilitators can increase vaccine uptake.