Background: Ethnic minority groups experience a disproportionately high burden of infections, hospitalizations and mortality due to COVID-19, and therefore should be especially encouraged to receive SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. This study aimed to investigate the intent to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2, along with its determinants, in six ethnic groups residing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Methods: We analyzed data of participants enrolled in the population-based multi-ethnic HELIUS cohort, aged 24 to 79 years, who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and answered questions on vaccination intent from November 23, 2020 to March 31, 2021. During the study period, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in the Netherlands became available to individuals working in healthcare or > 75 years old. Vaccination intent was measured by two statements on a 7-point Likert scale and categorized into low, medium, and high. Using ordinal logistic regression, we examined the association between ethnicity and lower vaccination intent. We also assessed determinants of lower vaccination intent per ethnic group. Results: A total of 2,068 participants were included (median age 56 years, interquartile range 46–63). High intent to vaccinate was most common in the Dutch ethnic origin group (369/466, 79.2%), followed by the Ghanaian (111/213, 52.1%), South-Asian Surinamese (186/391, 47.6%), Turkish (153/325, 47.1%), African Surinamese (156/362, 43.1%), and Moroccan ethnic groups (92/311, 29.6%). Lower intent to vaccinate was more common in all groups other than the Dutch group (P < 0.001). Being female, believing that COVID-19 is exaggerated in the media, and being < 45 years of age were common determinants of lower SARS-CoV-2 vaccination intent across most ethnic groups. Other identified determinants were specific to certain ethnic groups. Conclusions: Lower intent to vaccinate against SARS-CoV-2 in the largest ethnic minority groups of Amsterdam is a major public health concern. The ethnic-specific and general determinants of lower vaccination intent observed in this study could help shape vaccination interventions and campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2035-2045
Number of pages11
Issue number12
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Ethnicity
  • HELIUS study
  • Intent
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination

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