The Top Four Patient Barriers to Vaccination

June 15, 2021

Lockdowns, contagion worries, suggested windows between COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccinations—the reasons to skip recommended vaccines in 2020 were numerous and serious. But even in the best of times, there are a number of barriers that can keep patients from receiving timely vaccinations.

Most patients (79%–85% depending on the vaccine) will receive a vaccination if offered by their physician. But there’s a world of potential barriers that can stand between them and their shots. Here are a few of the most common obstacles to vaccinations our partners come up against, and their best suggestion on how to overcome them.

Access to Healthcare

Basic access to healthcare is essential. But some patients aren’t afforded this access, whether due to a lack of insurance, not enough insurance, long distances to medical offices, or scheduling problems. These seemingly minor issues can become major barriers. As such, it’s important to understand what your patient populations need in order for them to come in for well-checks and vaccination appointments. Look for the overlaps with what they require and what you can offer, and meet them there.

Financial Constraints

Although vaccines are partially or totally covered by insurance or government programs, a co-pay for the office visit can be a hurdle. Additionally, patients may not know that vaccines and administrative costs are covered, or know where to go for financial help. Regularly and proactively share information with your patient population and your community at large about financial aid and programs like Vaccines for Children.

Lack of Information

This will come as no surprise, but a lack of information, or a glut of misinformation, about vaccines is a big blocker. With the charged atmosphere around vaccines, patients may be wary of asking questions, so prompts like, “What questions do you have about this vaccine?” or “What questions do you have around the vaccine schedule?” can get patients to open up and start an open dialogue.

Emotional Hurdles

Some patients find it difficult to explain why they’re concerned about vaccines. Again, having an open dialogue with your patients and reassuring them with factual information can help to set them at ease. Despite these efforts, it may even take a few conversations to get them comfortable with vaccines, so don’t give up.

Counteract the 'Pandemic Plunge' in Vaccinations

We worked with our practice partners to develop this guide to strategies for getting your practice’s vaccination rates back on track. It can be just as easy as starting a conversation.

Download Guide

June 15, 2021