Corresponding Author

Kevin A. Pearce, MD, MPH


Author Affiliations


Department of Family & Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

ORCID: 0000-0003-4879-3970

Author Area of Expertise

Family Medicine

Health Services Research


Background: At the time of our writing, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption to daily lives. In Kentucky, the burdens from this disease are higher, and vaccination rates for COVID-19 are lower, in comparison to the U.S. as a whole. Understanding vaccine intentions across key subpopulations is critical to increasing vaccination rates.

Purpose: This study explores COVID-19 vaccine intentions in Kentucky across demographic subpopulations and also investigates the influences on vaccine intention of attitudes and beliefs about COVID-19.

Methods: A population-based survey of 1,459 Kentucky adults was conducted between January 26 and March 20, 2021, with over-sampling of black/African American and Latino/a residents, using online and telephonic modalities. Descriptive statistics characterize the sample and overall vaccine intentions and beliefs. Multivariable linear regression models probed relationships between demographics and vaccination intentions, as well as relationships between vaccination beliefs and vaccination intention.

Results: Of the 1,299 unvaccinated respondents, 53% reported intent to get vaccinated, 16% had not decided, and 31% felt they would not get vaccinated. Lower vaccination intention was independently associated with age, lower educational attainment, black/African American race, lower income, Republican political affiliation, rural residence, and several beliefs: low vaccine safety, low vaccine efficacy, the rapidity of vaccine development, and mistrust of vaccine producers.

Implications: Increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates will help end this pandemic. Findings from this study can be used to tailor information campaigns aimed at helping individuals make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccination.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recommended Citation

Pearce KA, Messerli M, Lacy ME, et al. SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine intentions in Kentucky. J Appalach Health 2022;4(2):26–44. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0402.04.