A Cross-sectional survey exploring vaccine hesitancy in students attending a South African university.
Keywords:vaccination, vaccine hesitancy, SAGE Working Group's Matrix of Determinants, students, student vaccine hesitancy questionnaire, South Africa
Vaccine hesitancy is a global problem. This phenomenon is context specific and has a changing nature. It may be difficult to address vaccine hesitancy with a one-size-fits-all approach. The causes of vaccine hesitancy should thus be known in order to properly address this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to explore vaccine hesitancy in students attending a South African university.
The study was performed via an electronic survey, namely the Student Vaccine Hesitancy Questionnaire. Data was gathered during alert level 4 of the first official Covid lockdown in SA and the students were only reachable via the electronic student platform of the University. The study population was approximately 57 000 university students and 1016 students participated.
The students’ answers were analysed and the results showed vaccine hesitancy to be prevalent in 24.3% (n=247) of the participants. It was found that age and mother tongue were the only two demographic factors addressed in this study that had a significant association with vaccine hesitancy. Healthcare workers is a trusted and preferred source of information. Healthcare environments (like healthcare centres and pharmacies) are preferred locations to receive information and be vaccinated. Take into consideration that family plays an important role when it comes to vaccination decisions.
Vaccine hesitancy is a context-specific phenomenon and as this study shows it would be important to always investigate the specific preferences of persons in a context before any vaccination programmes are being launched.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Aniske Leeuwner , Marietta Basson, Willem Basson
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