One's personal physician, national and state or local public health officials, and the broader medical profession play important roles in encouraging vaccine uptake for COVID-19. However, the relationship between trust in these experts and vaccine hesitancy has been underexplored, particularly among racial/minority groups where historic medical mistrust may reduce uptake. Using an April 2021 online sample of US adults (n = 3041) that explored vaccine hesitancy, regression models estimate levels of trust in each of these types of experts and between trust in each of these experts and the odds of being COVID-19 vaccine takers vs refusers or hesitaters. Interaction terms assess how levels of trust in the medical profession by race/ethnicity are associated with vaccine hesitancy. Trust in each expert is positively associated with trust in other experts, except for trust in the medical profession. Only trust in one's own doctor was associated with trust in the medical profession, as measured by factor scores derived from a validated scale. Lower levels of trust in experts were significantly associated with being either a hesitater or a refuser compared to being a taker. Black respondents had higher odds of being either a hesitater or a refuser compared to white respondents but the interaction with trust was insignificant. For Hispanic respondents only, the odds of being a hesitater declined significantly when trust in the medical profession rose. Mistrust in the medical profession, one's doctor and national experts contributes to vaccine hesitancy. Mobilizing personal physicians to speak to their own patients may help.
- Public health officials
- Vaccine Hesitancy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health