Willingness to Receive the COVID-19 and Seasonal Influenza Vaccines among the Saudi Population and Vaccine Uptake during the Initial Stage of the National Vaccination Campaign: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Jul 8;9(7):765. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9070765.


This study aimed to assess the willingness to receive the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and seasonal influenza vaccines and vaccine uptake during the early stage of the national vaccination campaign in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among adult Saudis between 20 January and 20 March 2021. The questionnaire addressed vaccine hesitancy, perceived risk, willingness, and vaccine uptake. Approximately 39% of the participants expressed vaccine hesitancy, and 29.8% and 24% felt highly vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 and seasonal influenza, respectively. The majority (59.5%) were willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, although only 31.7% were willing to receive the flu vaccine. Adjusted analysis showed that vaccine hesitancy (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.27-0.43) and the perception of being at high risk (OR 2.78, 95% CI 1.68-4.60) independently affected the intention to be vaccinated. Vaccine hesitancy was similar among those who were willing to be vaccinated (29.8%) and those who had already been vaccinated (33.1%). The perceived risk was significantly higher among those who had been vaccinated (48.1%) than among those who were willing to be vaccinated but had not yet been vaccinated (29.1%). In conclusion, the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine in Saudi Arabia is high. Saudis who received the vaccine had a similar level of vaccine hesitancy and a higher level of perceived risk.

Keywords: COVID-19; Saudi Arabia; pandemic; seasonal influenza; uptake; vaccine.