Background: The Hispanic community has historically faced high rates of vaccine hesitancy when compared to their non-Hispanic white counterparts. This not only poses a threat to their individual health, but also to their community. In a population that is disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infections, it is critical to address vaccine uptake concerns to control the pandemic and prevent future spread of infections.
Objective: This study aims to explore Spanish speakers' vaccination decisions and to explore whether improving health literacy would be an effective approach in increasing vaccination rates. The secondary objective is to describe the role of physicians in decreasing vaccination hesitancy within the Hispanic community.
Methods: A review of literature was conducted using articles from 2000 to 2022 focusing on the relationship between the Hispanic community and vaccines, as well as the Hispanic community's health literacy levels. Multiple databases were utilized, and research included the effects of improving health literacy for the Hispanic community in the United States and reasons for vaccine hesitancy in the Hispanic population. From the literature review, 40 articles met the inclusion criteria and were used to determine whether improving health literacy is an effective avenue for increasing vaccination rates in the Hispanic community.
Results: A gap of research exists examining the relationship between health literacy and vaccine hesitancy in the Hispanic populations. Studies suggest three main reasons for reduced vaccine uptake for Latinos: the lack of knowledge about vaccines, the need for provider recommendations, and the inability to access healthcare. The studies also ii identified different methodologies in improving both vaccine hesitancy and health literacy.
Conclusions: Health literacy may be able to address each of the three main concerns for vaccine hesitancy in the Hispanic population. Thus, research in the future should explore the relationship between health literacy and vaccine hesitancy.
Keywords: health literacy, Hispanic, vaccine, vaccine hesitancy
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Health Management and Informatics
Tran, Kelly, "Does the Health Literacy of Spanish Speakers Impact their Vaccination Decisions?: A Literature Review of Related Research" (2023). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1429.