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Willingness to Vaccinate against COVID-19 among Healthcare Workers: An Online Survey in 10 Countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Yasir Ahmed Mohammed Elhadi, Azza Mehanna, Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi, Haider M. El Saeh, Saddam Abdulhakem Alnahari, Omar Hassan Alenezi, Diala El Chbib, Zahraa Yahya, Eiman Ahmed, Shoaib Ahmad, Saad Uakkas, Majdi Mohammed Sabahelzain, Bushra Ahmed Alyamani, Arash Nemat, Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno and Ashraf Zaghloul

Global Journal of Health Science, 2021, vol. 13, issue 9, 42

Abstract: BACKGROUND- Willingness of healthcare workers to be vaccinated is an important factor to be considered for a successful COVID-19 vaccination programme. This study aims to understand the willingness of health workers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and its associated concerns across 10 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). METHOD- A cross-sectional study was conducted in January 2021 among healthcare workers in EMR using an online survey. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS software package version 20.0. RESULTS- A total of 2806 health workers (physicians, nurses and pharmacists) completed and returned the informed consent along with the questionnaire electronically. More than half of the respondents (58.0%) were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, even if the vaccination is not mandatory for them. On the other hand, 25.7% of respondents were not willing to take COVID-19 vaccine while 16.3 % were undecided. The top three reasons for not willing to be vaccinated were unreliability of COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials (62.0%), fear of the side effects of the vaccine (45.3%), and that COVID-19 vaccine will not give immunity for a long period of time (23.1%). CONCLUSION- Overall, the study revealed suboptimal acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine among the respondents in the EMR. Significant refusal of COVID-19 vaccine among healthcare professionals can reverse hard-won progress in building public trust in vaccination program. The findings suggest the need to develop tailored strategies to address concerns identified in the study in order to ensure optimal vaccine acceptance among healthcare workers in the EMR.

Date: 2021
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