Factors Contributing to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Hesitancy of Hispanic Population in Rio Grande Valley

Athina Bikaki, Michael Machiorlatti, Loren Cliff Clark, Candace A. Robledo, Ioannis A. Kakadiaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hispanic communities have been disproportionately affected by economic disparities. These inequalities have put Hispanics at an increased risk for preventable health conditions. In addition, the CDC reports Hispanics to have 1.5× COVID-19 infection rates and low vaccination rates. This study aims to identify the driving factors for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy of Hispanic survey participants in the Rio Grande Valley. Our analysis used machine learning methods to identify significant associations between medical, economic, and social factors impacting the uptake and willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. A combination of three classification methods (i.e., logistic regression, decision trees, and support vector machines) was used to classify observations based on the value of the targeted responses received and extract a robust subset of factors. Our analysis revealed different medical, economic, and social associations that correlate to other target population groups (i.e., males and females). According to the analysis performed on males, the Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) value was 0.972. An MCC score of 0.805 was achieved by analyzing females, while the analysis of males and females achieved 0.797. Specifically, several medical, economic factors, and sociodemographic characteristics are more prevalent in vaccine-hesitant groups, such as asthma, hypertension, mental health problems, financial strain due to COVID-19, gender, lack of health insurance plans, and limited test availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1282
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • COVID-19
  • decision trees
  • ensemble voting classification
  • feature selection
  • high-risk Hispanic population
  • logistic regression
  • multiple imputation
  • support vector machines
  • vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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