It’s about trust: promoting COVID-19 vaccine confidence in Provincial Correctional Centres with people who are incarcerated


People who experience incarceration are more likely to acquire COVID-19, be hospitalized for it, and die from it. Vaccinations have been proven to significantly mitigate adverse outcomes. However, vaccine acceptance among people who are criminalized is lower compared to the overall population. The Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine concerns AmoNg people who are incarCeratEd (ADVANCE) Study aims to co-develop peer-to-peer education strategies that promote COVID-19 vaccination in Provincial Correctional Centres with incarcerated peoples.


This participatory health research (PHR) project uses mixed-methods to inform integrated knowledge translation (IKT) with people who are incarcerated (PWAI), over 4 phases: (1) survey co-development focus groups; (2) survey engagement; (3) education strategy co-development focus groups; (4) evaluation. Phase 1 engaged people incarcerated in 2 Provincial Correctional Centres (PCCs) and Peer Support Workers who connect people leaving corrections with health and social services throughout British Columbia (BC). Phase 2 engaged Residents (PWAI) and Staff from BC’s 10 PCCs, and people released during the pandemic. With greater understanding of what contributes to low vaccine confidence among people who experience incarceration (P1 – P2), we are co-developing, testing, and implementing peer-to-peer educational strategies to promote vaccine confidence among them (P3 – P4).


We will have results to present in May, but are currently in Phase 1 of the study. Summaries of focus group data, aggregates of key survey results, and preliminary peer-to-peer education strategies will be presented. Data will (1) illustrate the study’s emergent design; (2) provide unique insights to determinants of low vaccine confidence among people who experience incarceration, and (3) opportunities to optimize vaccine literacy, confidence and uptake among them.


The ADVANCE study is establishing foundational approaches to PHR and IKT with PWAI. We anticipate that the knowledge developed throughout inform approaches to support and improve health literacy, health outcomes, healthcare quality and confidence among PWAI beyond COVID-19 vaccination. This is important work in addressing persistent health and justice inequities.

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