COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Ethiopian healthcare workers

PLoS One. 2021 Dec 17;16(12):e0261125. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0261125. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: COVID-19 poses significant health and economic threat prompting international firms to rapidly develop vaccines and secure quick regulatory approval. Although COVID-19 vaccination priority is given for high-risk individuals including healthcare workers (HCWs), the success of the immunization efforts hinges on peoples' willingness to embrace these vaccines.

Objective: This study aimed to assess HCWs intention to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the reasons underlying vaccine hesitancy.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among HCWs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from March to July 2021. Data were collected from eligible participants from 18 health facilities using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression was performed to explore factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. A p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 614 HCWs participated in the study, with a mean age of 30.57±6.87 years. Nearly two-thirds (60.3%) of HCWs were hesitant to use the COVID-19 vaccine. Participants under the age of 30 years were approximately five times more likely to be hesitant to be vaccinated compared to those over the age of 40 years. HCWs other than medical doctors and/or nurses (AOR = 2.1; 95%CI; 1.1, 3.8) were more likely to be hesitant for COVID-19 vaccine. Lack of believe in COVID-19 vaccine benefits (AOR = 2.5; 95%CI; 1.3, 4.6), lack of trust in the government (AOR = 1.9; 95%CI; 1.3, 3.1), lack of trust science to produce safe and effective vaccines (AOR = 2.6; 95%CI; 1.6, 4.2); and concern about vaccine safety (AOR = 3.2; 95%CI; 1.9, 5.4) were also found to be predictors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Conclusion: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy showed to be high among HCWs. All concerned bodies including the ministry, regional health authorities, health institutions, and HCWs themselves should work together to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake and overcome the pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Vaccination Hesitancy / statistics & numerical data*

Grant support

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.