Study Finds Race Irrelevant in COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Among IBD Patients


Even though COVID-19 infection disproportionately impacts minority patients, there’s no indication that vaccine intention differs depending on race in IBD patients.

Sanjana Rao, MD

Sanjana Rao, MD

In a study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology 2021 conference, investigators led by Sanjana Rao, MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, found that there was no significant difference in vaccine intention in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) based upon race.

According to the study, vaccine hesitancy among minorities continues to be a prevalent phenomenon stemming from several factors including underrepresentation in vaccine trials, systemic discrimination, historical racial injustices, and limited targeted education.

The aim of the study was to evaluate disparities in COVID-19 vaccine intention, specifically among minorities in a diverse urban population. The goal was to promote equitable, optimal care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

In this retrospective chart review of electronic medical records, patient gender, age, race, IBD subtype, and treatment regimen information were obtained. Investigators gathered information from all IBD patients seen from January 2016-January 2021 by gastroenterologists at an urban university medical center.

Of 458 medical records, 218 were reviewed. Even though the literature mentioned in the study indicated stark racial differences in vaccine perceptions, there was no significant difference (P=0.630) found in vaccine intention when looking at IBD patients based on race.

The participant demographics included 56.4% (123) identified as White, 34.4% (75) as Black, and 9.2% (20) as Asian, Hispanics or other racial identity received or intended to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

Among the diverse, urban IBD patient cohort, no disparities in vaccine receipt nor intention were revealed. These findings contradicted the idea that minority patients are more likely to reject the COVID-19 vaccine.

Investigators pointed out the possibility that patients with chronic immune dysregulation, as in IBD, are more inclined to accept vaccination as a protective measure, regardless of race. The need to identify factors that encourage vaccination practices in order to guide development of interventions that increase widespread acceptance of vaccination was emphasized by these results.

The study, “Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance are Not Present Among IBD Patients at an Urban Tertiary Care Practice,” was presented at the American College of Gastroenterology 2021 conference.

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