Publications & Reports

COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people in Australia who inject drugs: Implications for vaccine rollout.

Dietze PM, Hall C, Price O, Stewart AC, Crawford S, Peacock A, Maher L
Behaviours and Health Risks Program, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia.


INTRODUCTION: Vaccine acceptability is a key determinant of vaccination uptake. Despite being at risk of adverse outcomes from coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19), COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among people who inject drugs is unknown. We surveyed people who inject drugs in Melbourne, Australia to assess potential uptake of COVID-19 vaccines prior to distribution. METHODS: Cross-sectional study, comprising interviewer-administered structured telephone interviews completed from 30 November to 22 December 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Participants were people aged 18 years or older who injected drugs at least monthly in the past 6 months and had resided in Melbourne in the past 12 months recruited via needle-syringe programs and word-of-mouth. MEASUREMENTS: COVID-19 hypothetical vaccine acceptability, participants' demographic, drug use and drug treatment characteristics. RESULTS: Fifty-eight percent (57/99) of the sample reported that they would definitely or probably be vaccinated for COVID-19, with the remainder indicating that they would not (22%) or were undecided (20%). Among those who indicated that they would definitely or probably not be vaccinated or were undecided (n = 42), safety concerns were most often cited as a reason for not wanting to be vaccinated. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Although a majority of sampled people who inject drugs indicated that they would definitely or probably be vaccinated, efforts to reduce hesitancy and allay COVID-19 vaccine safety concerns will be necessary to optimise vaccine uptake among this population.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Drug and Alcohol Review
  • Published: 01/02/2022
  • Volume: 41
  • Issue: 2
  • Pagination: 484-487