COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy seen in Jordan, the West Bank, Syria: Study

Amman [Jordan], December 12 (ANI): A study by Sima Zein of the American University of Madaba has found that in Jordan, the West Bank, and Syria, about two-thirds of participants were unwilling or hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

This research has been published in the ‘PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases Journal’.

The World Health Organization has identified refusal and hesitancy towards vaccination as a major threat to global health. Indeed, hesitancy or unwillingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is a significant challenge to managing the ongoing pandemic. A better understanding of attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines could aid efforts to address this challenge.

In the new study, Zein and colleagues conducted a survey to analyze COVID-19 vaccine attitudes among 8,619 adults living in Jordan, the West Bank, and Syria--regions that share borders, culture, traditions, and beliefs. The survey asked participants whether they intended to get vaccinated, and if not, invited them to clarify why. The study was conducted in December 2020, when COVID-19 cases and deaths were high in all three regions.

Statistical analysis of the survey responses found that 32.2 per cent of the participants intended to get vaccinated, 41.6 per cent did not, and 26.2 per cent were hesitant. Most of those who were unwilling or hesitant to get vaccinated were primarily concerned about the rigour of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine-evaluation process, as well as potential long-term health risks.

Participants were more likely to be willing to get vaccinated if they were female, aged 18 to 35, Syrian, Jordanian, from a large family, had recently received a flu vaccine or had a high school diploma or less.

The authors noted that they were surprised that participants with higher levels of education were less willing to be vaccinated. They also noted that attitudes towards vaccination could have been affected by negative effects on the health care systems of Syria and Palestine caused by political and economic instability.

These findings suggested that targeted efforts may be effective in increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in the three regions. Further research could help clarify which types of efforts might be most effective.

Zein said, "The predictors and factors behind the negative attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines in 3 countries in the Middle East, Palestine, Jordan and Syria." (ANI)