SEATTLE — A study released last Thursday by the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) says 75 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives are willing to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The reason for the high receptance is 74 percent of those surveyed said they view getting the vaccination as their responsibility to their community.

The study was conducted to collect information on American Indian and Alaska Native peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the Covid-19 vaccine. The study involved a survey given to American Indians and Alaska Natives across 46 states—representing 318 different tribal affiliations—to gather information ranging from individuals’ willingness to receive a Covid-19 vaccine to the hurdles encountered in accessing healthcare and resources.

“This data will be important to all organizations conducting Covid-19 vaccine education efforts,” Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of UIHI said. “Native communities have unique challenges and needs that usually are not considered in public health campaigns.”

American Indian and Alaska Native people continue to be disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 incidence and mortality rates are 3.5 and 1.8 times that of non-Hispanic Whites, respectively.

“Willingness to receive a vaccine and hesitancy are not mutually exclusive,” Echo-Hawk said. “Fear and distrust of government and medical systems still exists in our community, which are hurdles that we have to overcome.”

While there has been worry about vaccine participation in Native communities, 75 percent of study participants claimed they would be willing to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, higher than the national average according to an Ipsos survey from October 2020, which indicates that 64 percent of the U.S. general population was willing to receive a vaccine.

Echo-Hawk said the intention of the survey and study is to create a better understanding of the unique perspectives of Native people.

“The data indicates that most Native people willing to be vaccinated feel it is their responsibility for the health of their community,” Echo-Hawk said. “This shows what motivates our community when it comes to decision-making.”

Report key findings:

  • 75 percent of participants were willing to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • 74 percent of participants claimed that getting vaccinated is their responsibility to their community.
  • 72 percent of participants wanted evidence that the vaccine is safe right now and in the long term.
  • 39 percent of all participants reported difficulty traveling to their clinic for an appointment.
  • Two-thirds of participants willing to get vaccinated were confident that Covid-19 vaccines were adequately tested for safety and effectiveness among Native people.
  • 75 percent of participants willing to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.
  • 25 percent of participants were unwilling to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • 90 percent of participants unwilling to get vaccinated recognized Covid-19 as a serious disease.
  • 89 percent of participants unwilling to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.

More Stories Like This

Harvard School of Dental Medicine Seeking Native Students for Summer Program
National Indian Health Board Hosts Virtual Tribal Health Summit This Week
J&J/Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine Pause Has Been Lifted – IHS Okays Usage in Indian Country
Mobile Vaccination Buses Hit the Road on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation
One of the First Truck Stop Vaccination Pop-Up Sites Held on Seneca Nation

10 years of Native News...

We launched Native News Online back in February 2011 with the belief that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope it inspires you to celebrate our first decade with a gift of $10 or more to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff