Stroke and TIA survivors' perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccine and influences on its uptake: Cross sectional survey
AbstractBackground: People who have experienced a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) have greater risks of complications from COVID-19. Therefore, vaccine uptake in this vulnerable population is important. To prevent vaccine hesitancy and maximise compliance, we need to better understand individuals' views on the vaccine.
Objective(s): We aimed to explore perspectives of the COVID-19 vaccine and influences on its uptake from people who have experienced a stroke or TIA.
Method(s): A cross-sectional, electronic survey comprising multiple choice and free text questions. Convenience sampling was used to recruit people who have experienced a stroke/TIA in the UK/Ireland.
Result(s): The survey was completed by 377 stroke/TIA survivors. 87% (328/377) had either received the first vaccine dose or were booked to have it. The vaccine was declined by 2% (7/377) and 3% (11/377) had been offered the vaccine but not yet taken it up. 8% (30/377) had not been offered the vaccine despite being eligible. Some people expressed concerns around the safety of the vaccine (particularly risk of blood clots and stroke) and some were hesitant to have the second vaccine. Societal and personal benefits were motivations for vaccine uptake. There was uncertainty and lack of information about risk of COVID-19 related complications specifically for people who have experienced a stroke or TIA.
Conclusion(s): Despite high uptake of the first vaccine, some people with stroke and TIA have legitimate concerns and information needs that should be addressed. Our findings can be used to identify targets for behaviour change to improve vaccine uptake specific to stroke/TIA patients