COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitancy, and determinants among physicians in a university-based teaching hospital in Thailand.BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 22; 21(1):1174.BI
The COVID-19 vaccines provide renewed hope in the fight against the recent pandemic. To ensure widespread vaccination, it is crucial to analyze vaccine willingness and its determinants among physicians, key health care influencers. This study aimed to assess acceptance rate and identify factors associated with vaccine hesitancy among Thai physicians.
A cross-sectional online-based questionnaire was distributed to all physicians at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital during March 31, 2021 to April 30, 2021 in order to assess their attitudes toward receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Reasons for vaccine acceptance and refusal as well as predictors of vaccine hesitancy were analyzed by bivariate and multivariable analysis.
A total of 705 complete responses were received with 95.6% (n = 675) of physicians expressing willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Only one of the 31 physicians (4.4%) who expressed a hesitancy or unwillingness to be vaccinated was a faculty member; the others were physicians-in-training. Approximately one-fifths of physicians surveyed were also not willing to recommend the vaccine to their family members (21.4%, n = 151) or patients (18.7%, n = 132). Using multivariable logistic regression, vaccine hesitancy was independently associated with preference for particular vaccines over the government allocated option, especially for mRNA vaccine (aOR 8.86; 95% CI 1.1-71.54; p = 0.041). Vaccine literacy showed an inverse relationship (aOR 0.34; 95% CI 0.13-0.9; p = 0.029) with vaccine hesitancy. Uncertainty of the vaccine efficacy (83.9%) and fear of adverse events (48.4%) were major concerns contributing to vaccine hesitancy.
This study revealed a high rate of physician willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine especially among staffs; however, a significant proportion would not currently suggest vaccination to their families or patients. Restrictions on vaccine choice and vaccine illiteracy, together with concerns over adverse effects and uncertainty of efficacy, were associated with negative attitudes toward vaccination. To raise acceptance of the vaccination program, efforts should be made to balance individual preference for vaccine type in addition to increasing the availability of accurate data on safety and efficacy for each vaccine.