Acceptance Rates and Beliefs toward COVID-19 Vaccination among the General Population of Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Survey

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  • 1 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 2 City Gynae Hospital Toba Tek Singh, Medicine, Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan;
  • | 3 Dubai Medical College for Girls, Faculty of Medicine, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
  • | 4 General Medicine and Surgery, Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan;
  • | 5 Department of Internal Medicine, Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, Pakistan;
  • | 6 Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University Ojha Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 7 Department of Internal Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 8 Department of Internal Medicine, Capital Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan;
  • | 9 Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 10 Department of General Surgery, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan;
  • | 11 World Health Organization, Zhob, Pakistan

Developing countries like Pakistan have previously suffered from barriers to acceptance of vaccination by the public because of financial and belief barriers. This study aims to explore these beliefs and highlight concerns regarding vaccine hesitancy in the general population of Pakistan since they are a hindrance to an effective coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) immunization in the country. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 1,778 participants from all four provinces of Pakistan. Results from the study showed more than half of the participants to be unsure of the safety (50%) and efficacy (51%) of the vaccine, whereas 42% were concerned about the side effects of the vaccine. About 72% of the respondents planned to get vaccinated, whereas 28% refused to do so. Internationally made imported vaccines were more trusted by the participants. Forty-four percent of the participants agreed to receive the vaccine upon recommendation from a physician. Lastly, participants who believed in the efficacy of the polio vaccination also considered the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Muhammad Samsoor Zarak, Immunization Officer, World Health Organization, Zhob, Pakistan. E-mail: zaraks@who.int

Disclaimer: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Authors’ addresses: Farah Yasmin, Hamza Nauman, and Sarush Ahmed Siddiqui, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow Medical College, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mails: farahyasmin972@yahoo.com, htz.nauman@gmail.com, and siddiquisarush@gmail.com. Waleed Asghar, City Gynae Hospital Toba Tek Singh, Medicine, Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan, E-mail: waleed0298@gmail.com. Maryam Salma Babar and Hiba Khan, Dubai Medical College for Girls, Faculty of Medicine, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, E-mails: msbsab99@gmail.com and hibzzkhan@hotmail.com. Shoaib Ahmad, General Medicine and Surgery, Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan, E-mail: shoaibahmad442@gmail.com. Zaid Hameed, Department of Internal Medicine, Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, Pakistan, E-mail: zaidhameed35@gmail.com. Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University Ojha Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: sohaib_asghar123@yahoo.com. Abdullah Khan Khattak, Department of Internal Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: abdullah.khattak@scholar.aku.edu. Zara Arshad, Department of Internal Medicine, Capital Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan, E-mail: zara_arshad@live.com. Syed Muhammad Ismail Shah, Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: ismailshah6551@gmail.com. Muhammad Osama, Department of General Surgery, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: osama_dmc17@yahoo.com. Muhammad Samsoor Zarak, World Health Organization, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: zaraks@who.int.

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