The COVID-19 pandemic keep on to devastate the world. A vaccine provide the best hope to control the pandemic. Understanding vaccine acceptance is important, because there is relatively high vaccine hesitancy for existing vaccines and relatively low vaccination coverage.1 A safe and effective vaccine for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been on the wish list of healthcare agencies across the globe.2
The launch of the COVID-19 vaccine has been hastened program, with the vaccine coming to the market in only nine months after discovery of the virus. While, there is some early data to suggest safety and efficacy of the approved vaccines, long term efficacy and any long term side effects are largely unknown.
Understandably, the acceptance of the new vaccine remains uncertain by both, healthcare experts and the public at large. In addition, a strong anti-vaccine movement, with multiple pseudo-scientific conspiracy theories have flooded the media reports. It is for these reasons that vaccine hesitancy may become an important challenge in the immunization campaign against COVID-19.3
The knowledge and outlook regarding COVID-19 vaccine has not been studied and it is anticipated that there will be great variation in vaccine related outlook and attitudes across countries, and within countries as well, depending on demographic factors, education levels and overall knowledge regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines available.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people used multiple information resources to gain knowledge and health information about the disease, including television, radio, newspapers, social media, friends, coworkers, healthcare providers, scientists, governments, etc.4 Since such information sources can shape peoples’ acceptance or refusal of COVID-19 vaccines, it is crucial to disseminate transparent and accurate information about vaccines' safety and efficacy to gain the trust of the population especially the hesitant and skeptical ones.5
The numerous surveys, focus groups, in-depth qualitative research, and large scale digital media analytics 6,7,8,9, as well as convened expert roundtables and workshops to understand context specific attitudes to vaccines among the general public, health-care professionals and providers 10, and pregnant women.11
Kreps et al reported that increased efficacy and duration of protection, with decreased incidence of major adverse effects and full FDA approval, appear to increase willingness of Americans to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 12. Other published surveys suggest recipient factors that decrease willingness to accept a vaccine include younger age, minority ethnic groups, not being a healthcare worker and lower individual perceived risk 13.
Another global phenomenon that negatively contributed to such a low level is the numerous campaigns launched by anti vaccinationists by various campaigns. Such campaigns on social media with fabricated, false, and sometimes misleading translations feeded the conspiracy beliefs of some people.
In this study, we analyse the various sociodemographic and economic variables, as well as the beliefs and barriers that may prove to be obstacle during the immunisation program.