Emerging efficacy and safety data have led to the authorization of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, but most trials excluded patients with active malignancies. This study evaluates the intended acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination in cancer patients in Hong Kong.
Methods: 660 adult cancer patients received a survey, in paper or electronic format, between 31 January 2021 and 15 February 2021. The survey included patient's clinical characteristics, perceptions of COVID-19 and vaccination, vaccine knowledge, cancer health literacy, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS). The primary outcome was the intended acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine in cancer patients. Multivariable analysis was performed to identify factors associated with intended acceptance.
Results: The intended acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination was 17.9%. A total of 487 (73.8%) believed that vaccination could prevent them from infection. Over 70% worried about vaccine negative effects on cancer and its side effects. Factors associated with intended acceptance included higher level of "belief in vaccine on preventing them from getting COVID-19", less worry about long-term side effects of vaccine, lower level of cancer health literacy, and normal HADS (Depression scale).
Conclusions: To improve vaccine acceptance rate, public education campaigns specific to cancer patients to gain their trust in efficacy and relieve their worries are needed.
Keywords: COVID-19; acceptance; anxiety; cancer; vaccination.