Attitudes and Factors Associated With COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Patients With Breast Cancer

June 10, 2021

Cynthia Villarreal-Garza, MD, DSc; Bryan F. Vaca-Cartagena, MD; Andrea Becerril-Gaitan, MD; Ana S. Ferrigno, MD; Fernanda Mesa-Chavez, MD; Alejandra Platas, MSc; Ana Platas, BA.

JAMA Network

Villarreal-Garza et al. conducted a survey of women with breast cancer in Mexico to assess concerns with the COVID-19 vaccination. The participants were stratified into a vaccine acceptant group and vaccine hesitant group. The vaccine hesitant group included people who preferred to wait, would only get the vaccine if it was mandatory, or refused to get the vaccine. Out of 540 respondents, 357 (66%) were willing to get vaccinated, and 184 (34%) were hesitant to get vaccinated. Those in the vaccine acceptant group cited reasons such as preventing COVID, caring for their relatives, and a desire for “getting back to normal.” Vaccine hesitant people were concerned that vaccines carries a virus that would cause an infection, the vaccine would be contraindicated for patients with breast cancer, aren’t effective, has a computer chip for surveillance, and would cause infertility. Mistrust in the health care system, misconceptions of contraindication in patients with breast cancer, and not having a close acquaintance already vaccinated were the three largest factors associated with hesitancy. However, knowing someone who did not experience adverse effects, having more information about vaccine efficacy and safety, mandatory vaccination, and recommendations by oncologists were ways hesitant patients said they would motivate them to get vaccinated. The authors suggest increasing availability of information about the vaccines, confidence in the health care system, and increase participation of oncologist as strategies to increase vaccine acceptance.

Medical Association A. Letters Attitudes and Factors Associated With COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Patients With Breast Cancer. 2021. DOI:10.1001/jamaoncol.2021.1962.