Brief COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes among Adults in Immigrant Families in California
Insights and Opportunities to Promote Equitable Access
Dulce Gonzalez, Michael Karpman, Hamutal Bernstein
Display Date
Download Report
(254.71 KB)

Immigrants represent about a quarter of California residents, and about half of adults in the state live in households with at least one immigrant family member. Yet, little is known about COVID-19 vaccine attitudes and access among adults in immigrant families, both in California and nationally. In this brief, we assess attitudes toward the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines among adults ages 18 to 64 in California as of December 2020, before most vaccine distribution began, using data from the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey. We also examine California adults’ trust in various local sources for information about the vaccines and their types of health insurance coverage and usual sources of health care. We focus on differences between adults who do and do not live in immigrant families and find the following:

  • Adults in immigrant families in California were more likely than other adults in the state to be worried they or someone in their household would be exposed to the coronavirus (79 percent versus 67 percent).
  • Adults in immigrant families were more likely than other adults in California to report they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine (75 percent versus 68 percent).
  • Most adults in California trusted their health care providers (74 percent) and state or local public health officials (63 percent) for information about COVID-19 vaccines. Adults in immigrant families were more likely than other adults to trust state or local public health officials (68 percent versus 59 percent), elected officials in the community (40 percent versus 30 percent), and religious leaders (28 percent versus 16 percent) for this information.
  • Adults in immigrant families were more than twice as likely as other adults in California to be uninsured (16 percent versus 7 percent) and to use clinics and health centers as their usual sources of health care (35 percent versus 16 percent).

Understanding perceptions of the virus and vaccines among immigrant families, the sources of information they trust, and their connections to the health care system can help state policymakers shape communication and distribution strategies to achieve equitable vaccine access for California’s immigrant communities.

Research Areas Health and health care Social safety net Immigrants and immigration
Tags Health insurance Welfare and safety net programs Health equity Community-based care Public health
Policy Centers Health Policy Center Income and Benefits Policy Center