Publications & Reports

COVID-19 vaccine attitudes and facilitators among people in Australia who inject drugs.

Price O, Maher L, Dietze PM, Bruno R, Crawford S, Sutherland R, Salom C, Dore GJ, Peacock A
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


INTRODUCTION: We aimed to describe COVID-19 vaccination attitudes and identify potential facilitators for vaccine uptake among people who inject drugs. METHODS: People who inject drugs were recruited from all eight Australian capital cities (N = 884; 65% male, mean age 44 years) and interviewed face-to-face or via telephone in June-July 2021. COVID-19 and broader vaccination attitudes were used to model latent classes. Correlates of class membership were assessed through multinomial logistic regression. Probability of endorsing potential vaccination facilitators were reported by class. RESULTS: Three classes of participants were identified: ‘vaccine acceptant’ (39%), ‘vaccine hesitant’ (34%) and ‘vaccine resistant’ (27%). Those in the hesitant and resistant groups were younger, more likely to be unstably housed and less likely to have received the current season influenza vaccine than the acceptant group. In addition, hesitant participants were less likely to report a chronic medical condition than acceptant participants. Compared to vaccine acceptant and hesitant participants, vaccine-resistant participants were more likely to predominantly inject methamphetamine and to inject drugs more frequently in the past month. Both vaccine-hesitant and resistant participants endorsed financial incentives for vaccination and hesitant participants also endorsed facilitators related to vaccine trust. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: People who inject drugs who are unstably housed or predominantly inject methamphetamine are subgroups that require targeted interventions to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake. Vaccine-hesitant people may benefit from interventions that build trust in vaccine safety and utility. Financial incentives may improve vaccine uptake among both hesitant and resistant people.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Drug and Alcohol Review
  • Published: 21/02/2023
  • Volume: Epub ahead of print