COVID-19 VACCINATION KNOWLEDGE AND HESITANCY AMONG STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES AT QATAR UNIVERSITY; A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY
AuthorAL-MULLA, REEM MOHAMMED
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Introduction: Vaccines are the most important and cost-effective public health tools known to control and prevent many infectious diseases. However, concerns regarding the safety and the need for a vaccine and reluctance and hesitancy towards vaccinations is a rising matter. Due to the emergence of the novel COVID19, high vaccine uptake will be needed to control the pandemic. Therefore, the aim of this study is to (1) assess the knowledge and attitude towards COVID19 and (2) determine the factors that influence acceptance to COVID19 vaccine. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done through a survey distributed among Qatar University students and faculties. SPSS software was used to perform the statistical analysis. Results: A total of 462 of QU staff and students participated in this study. Among our participants, 62.6% of respondents stated that they were willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine, while 37.4% were unwilling to vaccinate. Significant difference was found between gender, age, education level and nationality and willingness to vaccinate. 53% of our participants presented with a high knowledge score. The most common reason for not willing to vaccinate was vaccine safety. Side effects, length of vaccine development, importance of flu vaccine and COVID-19 news update were factors influencing vaccination acceptance and hesitancy. No significant difference was found between source of information and willingness to vaccinate. Conclusion: With the current COVID-19 disease spreading widely across the globe, our study provides insights into individuals knowledge and hesitancy to a COVID-19 vaccine and understanding of factors and determinates that influence willingness to vaccinate.