Measuring the Factors of Hesitancy in Saudi Population toward COVID-19 Vaccines.
Authors: Dr. Roba Attar(1*), Dr. Alaa Karkashan(2), Dr. Basma Abbas(3), Mr. Abdullatif Almarashi(4), Mr. Talat Hashem(5)
Assistant Professor Department of biology, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia(1*)
Assistant Professor Department of biology, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia(2)
Assistant professor, Microbiology, Department of biology, University of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia(3)
Deputy Director of research and studies department, Directors of Health Affairs in Jeddah Province. MOH, Saudi Arabia(4)
Immunology laboratory specialist. Makkah Regional laboratory. MOH, Saudi Arabia(5)
COVID-19 has major effects on the population, enforcing lockdowns and strict precautions across the world to deter the virus from spreading. The pandemic presents a significant threat to our health and well-being. As vaccines become available, COVID-19 lethality may be reduced by promoting widespread immunization. To achieve herd immunity thresholds for COVID-19, an estimated 70% of the population must be vaccinated. The public’s approval determines the success of the vaccination program. Understanding the factors that contribute to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is important. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was conducted on the Saudi population from all the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to evaluate the level of knowledge about COVID-19 vaccines, estimate the turnout level for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and understand the reasons behind hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 1,148 adults completed a web-based questionnaire, and the study tested several sociocultural and environmental variables that affect the community’s hesitancy toward vaccination. Results showed that gender characteristics had almost no effect on acceptance of the vaccination. Individuals of the younger age group < 30 demonstrated an increase in the rate of vaccine hesitancy (53%) compared with individuals from the older age groups > 40 (34.43%).
In addition, middle and higher education groups were found to have significant vaccine hesitancy (77.4%) compared with the less educated group (41.1%). The most common concern among the non-vaccine takers in this questionnaire was that of vaccine safety: these participants believed the vaccine would result in health problems (49.3%), and most participants agreed (64%) that this was due to the insufficient duration of vaccine administration for safety evaluation.
COVID-19; Hesitancy; Acceptance; Saudi Arabia; Vaccine