People suffering from SUD hesitant to take COVID-19 vaccine

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Nearly half of people who suffer from substance use disorders (SUD) are hesitant to take a COVID-19 vaccine, according to an Addiction Policy Forum survey.

Of those who are willing, most said they would take it as soon as possible, while the remainder said they prefer to wait.

SUD patients who have a history of intravenous drug use said injections were a potential trigger that could hamper their recoveries. In contrast, nearly 25 percent of those surveyed said the number of required doses of a vaccine would affect their decision to get vaccinated.

The pandemic caused the respondents to distrust health care providers more than they did before the crisis. Still, health care providers are the top source of health care information, followed by family members and television and newspapers.

“Results from this study emphasize the vital role physicians play as an educator and messenger of information to inform patient healthcare decisions, especially among the SUD population.” Jessica Hulsey, Addiction Policy Forum president, said. “Education is needed to deliver vaccine information to patients, especially to individuals struggling with addiction or in recovery, who experience more severe effects and may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.”

The survey was conducted Sept. 14-Sept. 27.

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