COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy more common in women than men with cancer
medwireNews: Women with cancer appear to be more reticent about receiving COVID-19 vaccination than men, indicates a single-center study.
As reported in a letter to the European Journal of Cancer, the rate of refusal was 5.6% among 522 patients with cancer who were offered the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine at a French hospital, with a significant difference between women and men, at 9.6% and 2.6%, respectively.
“This difference did not seem to be because of a selection bias in our cohort,” say the researchers, noting that a previous study of a French general population cohort showed a similar difference between women and men with regard to vaccine hesitancy.
In terms of the reasons cited for refusing vaccination, “a fear of secondary effects, rather than a defiance of vaccination in general, appeared to be behind this refusal, together, in some cases, with a minimisation of the individual risk of the illness,” which is also in line with earlier research, they add.
Philippe Beuzeboc (Foch Hospital, Suresnes, France) and co-authors say that “[w]hatever the reasons, sex clearly appeared to be a discriminating factor in our study.”
And they conclude: “A pragmatic, global, bioethical reflection concerning these results is now required, particularly as the pandemic does not seem to be abating.”
medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group
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