COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinics in Pakistan: A Multicentric, Prospective, Survey-Based Study

Zia Ul Mustafa, Shazma Bashir, Arfah Shahid, Iqra Raees, Muhammad Salman, Hamid A. Merchant, Mamoon A. Aldeyab, Chia Siang Kow, Syed Shahzad Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the vaccination status and factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women in the largest province of Pakistan. A multicentric, prospective, survey-based study using an interviewer-administered tool was conducted among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics between 1 December 2021 through 30 January 2022 across seven hospitals in Pakistan. The healthcare professionals providing care at the participating hospitals administered the survey. Four hundred and five pregnant women fully consented and completed the study. The majority of the study participants (70.6%, n = 286) were aged between 25 and 34 and had a previous successful pregnancy history. More than half of the study participants (56.0%, n = 227) did not receive COVID-19 vaccination at the time of data collection despite their family members (93.9%, n = 372) had already received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Among those who received COVID-19 vaccination (n = 173), vaccine efficacy, protection for the foetus, and risk of COVID-19-associated hospitalisation were the main driving factors for vaccine hesitancy. The majority of the unvaccinated women (77.8%, n = 182) had no intention of receiving the vaccine. However, more than two-thirds (85.7%, n = 342) consulted the doctor about COVID-19 vaccines, and most were recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccines by the doctors (80.7%, n = 280). Women were significantly more likely to be vaccinated if they had employment (odds ratio [OR] 4.47, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.31–8.64) compared with their counterparts who were homemakers, consulted their doctors (OR 0.12, 95% CI: 0.04–0.35), and if they did not have pregnancy-related issues (OR 6.02, 95% CI: 2.36–15.33). In this study, vaccine hesitancy was prevalent, and vaccine uptake was low among pregnant women. Education and employment did impact COVID vaccination uptake, emphasising the need for more targeted efforts to enhance the trust in vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2344
Number of pages17
JournalViruses
Volume14
Issue number11
Early online date25 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

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