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November 09 2022

Vaccine Hesitancy for Individuals with Chronic Conditions

Anyone can get sick from COVID-19. The virus affects individuals differently depending on current health status. The risk of severe illness increases with the amount of other medical conditions someone may already have.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who are over the age of 65 years are 97 times more likely than people ages 18-29 years to die from COVID-19. In addition to age, individuals with a serious chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma and lung disease, weekend immune systems or pregnancy, are more likely to become ill or die.

Vaccine hesitancy is one concern among the health professional community for those who have chronic conditions. A study from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, found that the most predictive reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among individuals with chronic health conditions were the safety of the vaccine and potential side effects.

Considering these findings, the CDC and medical community recommends individuals with chronic conditions talk to their doctor to determine how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 and identify any risks. Together, you can create a plan to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses. You can also discuss practicing preventive measures, such as continuing to wear a mask, while also managing one or more chronic conditions. This may include an additional booster dose, which is available for some people who are immunocompromised or have weakened immune systems, or even therapeutic treatments if you get COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 and specific chronic conditions, visit the CDC Resources Center to learn more and read the latest data.



“CDC COVID Data Tracker”. 9 November 2022.

“Reasons for COVID‐19 vaccine hesitancy in individuals with chronic health conditions.” National Library of Medicine. 5 March 2022.

Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19: Information for Healthcare Professionals.” 15 June 2022.