Vaccine Hesitancy Among Patients With IBD

November 3, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Investigators found 11.9% of patients with IBD in a survey were considered vaccine hesitant.

Vaccine hesitancy is a problem that spans demographics and regions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) might be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, particularly those being treated with immunosuppressants.

Recently, during the American College of Gastroenterology 2021 Annual Conference, investigators from Boston Medical Center presented the results of a new surveying patients with IBD about whether or not they were hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the survey, participants gave a variety of reasons for hesitancy and approaches that providers could take to address their concerns.

The results of the 210 participant survey show 11.9% of patients with IBD were considered hesitant, but the rate of hesitancy was much higher in minority patients.

The rate of hesitancy was higher in Hispanic (27.8% vs 6.4%), Black (15.9% vs 11.3%), male (15.8% vs 9.7%), and Spanish-speaking patients (25% vs 8.5%).

In this episode of the DocTalk podcast, Howard Herman, MD and Max Rosenthaler, MD, both of Boston Medical Center, talk about what they learned from the survey and how they promote vaccination with their patients.

Rosenthaler also said the role of the specialists, like the gastroenterologist, is important in promoting the vaccine because patients generally feel comfortable and build a relationship with these types of doctors.