The Brazilian COVID-19 vaccination campaign: a modelling analysis of sociodemographic factors on uptake

16 January 2024

BMJ Open

Li SL, Prete CA, Zarebski AE, et alThe Brazilian COVID-19 vaccination campaign: a modelling analysis of sociodemographic factors on uptakeBMJ Open 2024;14:e076354. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-076354

View Journal Article / Working Paper

Objective Dose shortages delayed access to COVID-19 vaccination. We aim to characterise inequality in two-dose vaccination by sociodemographic group across Brazil.

Design This is a cross-sectional study.

Setting We used data retrieved from the Brazilian Ministry of Health databases published between 17 January 2021 and 6 September 2021.

Methods We assessed geographical inequalities in full vaccination coverage and dose by age, sex, race and socioeconomic status. We developed a Campaign Optimality Index to characterise inequality in vaccination access due to premature vaccination towards younger populations before older and vulnerable populations were fully vaccinated. Generalised linear regression was used to investigate the risk of death and hospitalisation by age group, socioeconomic status and vaccination coverage.

Results Vaccination coverage is higher in the wealthier South and Southeast. Men, people of colour and low-income groups were more likely to be only partially vaccinated due to missing or delaying a second dose. Vaccination started prematurely for age groups under 50 years which may have hindered uptake in older age groups. Vaccination coverage was associated with a lower risk of death, especially in older age groups (ORs 9.7 to 29.0, 95% CI 9. 4 to 29.9). Risk of hospitalisation was greater in areas with higher vaccination rates due to higher access to care and reporting.

Conclusions Vaccination inequality persists between states, age and demographic groups despite increasing uptake. The association between hospitalisation rates and vaccination is attributed to preferential delivery to areas of greater transmission and access to healthcare.