COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among university students in Lebanon
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CitationHamdan, M. B., Singh, S., Polavarapu, M., Jordan, T. ve Melhem, N. (2021). COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among university students in Lebanon, Research Square.
Background: Lebanon has one of the lowest reported COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates (21%). Little is known about the decision-making process of college students in Lebanon regarding obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify factors that predicted the behavioral intentions of students enrolled at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine. Methods: The study was a randomized, non-experimental, and cross-sectional study of undergraduate and graduate students. A valid and reliable survey was developed. A total of 3,805 students were randomly selected to participate from all academic units. A total of 800 students responded (21% return rate). Results: We generated three groups based on students’ intentions to be vaccinated: 1) vaccine accepting (those who are willing to take or already took the vaccine); 2) vaccine hesitant (those who are hesitant to take the vaccine); and 3) vaccine resistant (those who decided not to take the vaccine). The majority were Lebanese (85%), undergraduate students (75%), females (57%) with a mean age of 21 ± 0.14 years. Overall, students were vaccine accepting. Specifically, they were vaccine accepting (87%), vaccine hesitant (10%), and vaccine resistant (3%). Vaccine hesitancy was significantly associated with nationality, residency status and university rank (p value < 0.05). Moreover, there was a significant association between hesitancy and agreement with conspiracies. A significant factor for hesitancy was disagreement with the statement that symptomatic cases are the only carriers of COVID-19 (OR = 5; 95% CI = 1.67–14.29; p value = 0.004). Students believed that that the vaccine was safe (OR = 0.01; 95% CI = 0.002–0.08; p value = 0.000); in agreement with their personal views (OR = 0.1; 95% CI = 0.02–0.51; p value = 0.004) and were less likely to be hesitant than the vaccine accepting group (reference group). Conclusion: The factors identified that explain and/or predict each of the three vaccine intention groups can be used as core content for health communication and social marketing campaigns to increase the rate of COVID-19 vaccination.