The investigators at Xavier University of Louisiana propose a clinic, health care institution, and community survey-based research project to assess the beliefs and behavior regarding willingness to be vaccinated with a prospective COVID-19 vaccine among African Americans in the Southeastern Louisiana region. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the African Americans across the United States. Louisiana ranks 1st in the nation in per capita incidence of COVID-19. African Americans make up over 50% of the deaths of all known COVID-19 patients in the state, while only representing about 32% of the population. With the development of a COVID-19 vaccine on the near horizon, an urgent assessment of the African American community?s readiness for vaccine uptake is needed to inform a pharmacist-led intervention model that will increase vaccine uptake.
The Specific Aims of this proposal are:
Specific Aim #1 : To identify factors of vaccine hesitancy and the potential acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine among the adult African-American community in Southeastern Louisiana.
Specific Aim #2 : To assess the personal and financial impact of COVID-19, knowledge of COVID-19, as well as experience with the healthcare system with regards to COVID-19.
Specific Aim #3 : To use the results of Aim #1 and #2 to inform a community pharmacist certification course and a pharmacist led intervention model among pharmacist vaccinators. Method:
Specific Aim #1 and #2 will be assessed by a survey at the start of the study with an abbreviated follow-up survey 9 months later from clinic, community member and community pharmacy patient respondents. Changes in vaccine hesitancy and the impact on vaccine uptake will be determined.
Aim #3 will be assessed by a pharmacist led education intervention model with vaccine uptake surveillance pre and post the intervention in the pharmacies. Impact: The implications of this proposed project are to understand health related beliefs and behaviors related to COVID-19 and vaccination and their impact on the likely uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine among African Americans. It will also provide data to facilitate the development of strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccination in a vulnerable community with community pharmacists as vaccinators with a pre-and post analysis plan to assess the intervention?s success. This grant will also facilitate training early stage investigators and diversify the health research workforce as the majority of researchers are among underrepresented minorities and/or women.

Public Health Relevance

This project is a 2-year study to investigate vaccine hesitancy, experience with COVID-19 and the healthcare institutional experience among African-Americans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Southeastern Louisiana region. This informational will be correlated to self-reported likeliness of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, when available. Finally, the proposal will introduce a pharmacist led education and intervention plan which will include a pre and post surveillance of vaccine uptake in respective community pharmacies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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Das, Rina
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Xavier University of Louisiana
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New Orleans
United States
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