Paso del Norte Health Foundation focus groups reveal reasons behind COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

According to focus groups recently conducted by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) and Dr. Theodore Cooper, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) residents of the region shared their reasons for hesitating to get vaccinated for Covid-19.

Foremost on the minds El Paso-Las Cruces residents was skepticism over how quickly vaccines were brought to market and incorrect information about the way mRNA vaccines helps the body combat the virus.

“Vaccine skeptics also indicated a misunderstanding of the role vaccines can play in promoting community resiliency,” PDNHF officials shared. “Some indicated privacy concerns, lack of access to transportation and childcare, and difficulty utilizing online sign-up portals as barriers to being vaccinated.”

PDNHF officials said they will use the findings to refine messaging associated with the Reduce the Risk campaign which includes targeted social media ads and in-person interactions with trained community health workers or promotoras.

Since the inception of the Reduce the Risk campaign, promotora outreach has extended from El Paso County to Doña Ana County, Hudspeth County and Moore County in the Texas panhandle.

Information provided by promotoras, as well as the complete focus group report, is available for download at