Many syringe services programs (SSPs) have established trusting, long-term relationships with their clients and are well situated to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. We examined characteristics and practices of SSPs in the United States that reported providing COVID-19 vaccinations to their clients and obstacles to vaccinating people who inject drugs (PWID). We surveyed SSPs in September 2021 to examine COVID-19 vaccination practices through a supplement to the 2020 Dave Purchase Memorial survey. Of 153 SSPs surveyed, 73 (47.7%) responded to the supplement; 24 of 73 (32.9%) reported providing on-site COVID-19 vaccinations. Having provided hepatitis and influenza vaccinations was significantly associated with providing COVID-19 vaccinations (70.8% had provided them vs 28.6% had not; P = .002). Obstacles to providing vaccination included lack of appropriate facilities, lack of funding, lack of trained staff, and vaccine hesitancy among PWID. SSPs are underused as vaccination providers. Many SSPs are well situated to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to PWID, and greater use of SSPs as vaccination providers is needed.
Availability of and obstacles to providing COVID-19 vaccinations at syringe services programs in the United States, 2021
Public Health Reports, 137 (6), 1066-1069. doi: 10.1177/00333549221120241. PMCID: PMC9574299.