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English Title

VACCINATION FOR NEWLY EMERGED INFECTIOUS DISEASES AS A BLESSING OR CURSE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE LEBANESE POPULATION: A TWO-PHASE STUDY

Keywords

COVID-19, Infectious disease, Vaccination, Acceptance, Lebanon.

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion

Abstract

Although vaccination campaigns have been vital in mitigating the spread of many pandemics, false information about COVID-19 vaccine through social media might have a negative impact on its acceptance. In Lebanon, prior to the vaccination campaign, the acceptance rate of COVID-19 vaccination did not exceed 20 %. In the current study, the acceptance of vaccination by Lebanese participants was studied following the launching of the vaccine. The aim of the work is to reveal the actual intention of the studied sample once the vaccine is available and investigate the change in the perception and acceptance rate of Lebanese citizens about vaccination as influenced by many factors over time. A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in two separate phases (March 2021 and May 2021). In the first phase, the questionnaire included socio-demographic data and reasons for vaccine’s refusal. In the second phase, 2 sections were added, addressing the change in the attitude of participants towards vaccination, and the reasons behind this change. Data were analyzed using SPSS-version 20 and the results were considered statistically significant with p values ≤0.05. In both phases, the willingness to take the vaccine did not significantly change (p>0.05). Although 80 % of participants consider vaccination important, only 50 % of the studied sample were willing to take the vaccine. Such findings confirm hesitancy that can be attributed to worries about long-term effects and incomplete information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Therefore, awareness campaigns about false beliefs should be extensively conducted, with more emphasis on tailored education for special subpopulations, and other measures should be implemented more efficiently (e.g. restricted access to public places for unvaccinated individuals) to accelerate the vaccination rate.

Author ORCID Identifier

Souraya Doumiati - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6423-5488

May Saab - https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5296-4838

DOI

https://www.doi.org/10.54729/YAZH6193

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