COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among healthcare workers in the United Arab Emirates

IJID Reg. 2021 Dec:1:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ijregi.2021.08.003. Epub 2021 Sep 13.


Background: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers (HCWs) is a threat to any healthcare system. Vaccine hesitancy can increase infection risk among HCWs and patients, while also impacting the patients' decision to accept the vaccine. Our study assessed COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among HCWs in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Methods: Using purposive sampling, UAE HCWs registered in the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DOH) email database were invited to complete an online questionnaire, between November 2020 and February 2021, to understand COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy, and trust in sources of information. Simple logistic regression was used to assess the associations between demographic factors with COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.

Results: Of the 2832 HCWs who participated in the study, 1963 (69.9%) were aged between 25 and 44 years and 1748 (61.7%) were females. Overall, 2525 (89.2%) of the HCW population said they would accept a COVID-19 vaccine. HCWs who were 55+ years of age, male, and physicians/surgeons were more likely to accept a COVID-19 vaccine (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.5-6.2, p = 0.002; OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.3-2.4, p < 0.001; and OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.9; p = 0.01, respectively). The most reliable sources for COVID-19 vaccine information were the UAE government (91.6%), healthcare providers (86.8%), health officials (86.3%), and the World Health Organization (WHO; 81.1%).

Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was high among the UAE HCW population. Several factors were identified as significant determinants of vaccine acceptance. UAE healthcare authorities can utilize these findings to develop public health messaging campaigns for HCWs to best address COVID-19 vaccine concerns - particularly when the government is vaccinating its general population.

Keywords: COVID-19; UAE; healthcare workers; trust; vaccine acceptance.