Attitudes about vaccines to prevent Ebola virus disease in Guinea at the end of a large Ebola epidemic: Results of a national household survey

Vaccine. 2017 Dec 14;35(49 Pt B):6915-6923. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.06.026. Epub 2017 Jul 15.


Introduction: In 2014-2016, an Ebola epidemic devastated Guinea; more than 3800 cases and 2500 deaths were reported to the World Health Organization. In August 2015, as the epidemic waned and clinical trials of an experimental, Ebola vaccine continued in Guinea and neighboring Sierra Leone, we conducted a national household survey about Ebola-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) and opinions about "hypothetical" Ebola vaccines.

Methods: Using cluster-randomized sampling, we selected participants aged 15+ years old in Guinea's 8 administrative regions, which had varied cumulative case counts. The questionnaire assessed socio-demographic characteristics, experiences during the epidemic, Ebola-related KAP, and Ebola vaccine attitudes. To assess the potential for Ebola vaccine introduction in Guinea, we examined the association between vaccine attitudes and participants' characteristics using categorical and multivariable analyses.

Results: Of 6699 persons invited to participate, 94% responded to at least 1 Ebola vaccine question. Most agreed that vaccines were needed to fight the epidemic (85.8%) and that their family would accept safe, effective Ebola vaccines if they became available in Guinea (84.2%). These measures of interest and acceptability were significantly more common among participants who were male, wealthier, more educated, and lived with young children who had received routine vaccines. Interest and acceptability were also significantly higher among participants who understood Ebola transmission modes, had witnessed Ebola response teams, knew Ebola-affected persons, believed Ebola was not always fatal, and would access Ebola treatment centers. In multivariable analyses of the majority of participants living with young children, interest and acceptability were significantly higher among those living with vaccinated children than among those living with unvaccinated children.

Discussion: The high acceptability of hypothetical vaccines indicates strong potential for introducing Ebola vaccines across Guinea. Strategies to build public confidence in use of Ebola vaccines should highlight any similarities with safe, effective vaccines routinely used in Guinea.

Keywords: Acceptability; Attitudes; Ebola; Epidemic; Survey; Vaccine.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ebola Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Ebola Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification
  • Ebolavirus / physiology
  • Epidemics / prevention & control*
  • Epidemics / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Guinea / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • Ebola Vaccines