Population-Wide Vaccination Hesitancy among the Amish: A County-Level Study of COVID-19 Vaccine Adoption and Implications for Public Health Policy and Practice

Population Research and Policy Review

Anderson, Cory, Shuai Zhou, and Guangqing Chi. 2023.

42(4):70.

Research Points
  •  Prior research suggests Amish tend to be broadly vaccine hesitant, distrustful of mainstream medicine, apprehensive about early measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread, and networked to non-Amish sharing similar misgivings
  • Analysis of county-level COVID-19 vaccination rates and Amish population percentages from the 10 most Amish-populated states finds that Amish populated counties had about 1.6% lower COVID-19 vaccination rates, suggesting the Amish are vaccine hesitant; political conservatism and income were also significant in expected directions
  • Amish population growth raises public health considerations especially in rural areas where any outbreak could strain local health infrastructure.
  • Popular positive representations of Amish may reduce pressure on them to vaccinate
  • Service providers/public health workers should approach Amish as rational decision-makers not necessarily detached from society and employ bottom-up change strategies rather than top-down

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