Publication date: Jul 07, 2023
Vaccine hesitancy remains a critical barrier in mitigating the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The willingness of health care workers (HCWs) to be vaccinated, and, in turn, recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for their patient population is an important strategy. This study aims to understand the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and the reasoning for vaccine hesitancy among facility-based health care workers (HCWs) in LMICs. We conducted nationally representative phone-based rapid-cycle surveys across facilities in six LMICs to better understand COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. We gathered data on vaccine uptake among facility managers, their perceptions of vaccine uptake and hesitancy among the HCWs operating in their facilities, and their perception of vaccine hesitancy among the patient population served by the facility. 1,148 unique public health facilities participated in the study, with vaccines being almost universally offered to facility-based respondents across five out of six countries. Among facility respondents who have been offered the vaccine, more than 9 in 10 survey respondents had already been vaccinated at the time of data collection. Vaccine uptake among other HCWs at the facility was similarly high. Over 90% of facilities in Bangladesh, Liberia, Malawi, and Nigeria reported that all or most staff had already received the COVID-19 vaccine when the survey was conducted. Concerns about side effects predominantly drive vaccine hesitancy in both HCWs and the patient population. Our findings indicate that the opportunity to get vaccinated in participating public facilities is almost universal. We find vaccine hesitancy among facility-based HCWs, as reported by respondents, to be very low. This suggests that a potentially effective effort to increase vaccine uptake equitably would be to channel promotional activities through health facilities and HCWs. However, reasons for hesitancy, even if limited, are far from uniform across countries, highlighting the need for audience-specific messaging.
Open Access PDF
|disease||MESH||vaccine preventable diseases|