Prior COVID-19 infection: an underappreciated factor in vaccine hesitancy in the USA

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COVID-19, prior COVID-19 infection, vaccine hesitancy, vaccines, SARs-Cov-2


Despite tremendous efforts to quickly identify the 'vaccine hesitant' in the USA, what has emerged instead is a complex picture of a highly heterogeneous unvaccinated population. Although numerous factors have been implicated in influencing US COVID-19 vaccine decision-making, the role that prior coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection may play in vaccine receipt has been largely uninvestigated. Using data from two separate US national surveys, the US COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey and the Household Pulse Survey, we find that roughly one-quarter of unvaccinated survey respondents has had a prior COVID-19 infection. Prior COVID-19 infection halves the odds of receiving the vaccine. This information is consequential for ongoing vaccine outreach efforts.