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.
Address correspondence to Muhammad Samsoor Zarak, Immunization Officer, World Health Organization, Zhob, Pakistan. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Waleed Asghar, City Gynae Hospital Toba Tek Singh, Medicine, Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Maryam Salma Babar and Hiba Khan, Dubai Medical College for Girls, Faculty of Medicine, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Shoaib Ahmad, General Medicine and Surgery, Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad, Pakistan, E-mail: email@example.com. Zaid Hameed, Department of Internal Medicine, Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Muhammad Sohaib Asghar, Department of Internal Medicine, Dow University Ojha Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: email@example.com. Abdullah Khan Khattak, Department of Internal Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Zara Arshad, Department of Internal Medicine, Capital Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan, E-mail: email@example.com. Syed Muhammad Ismail Shah, Department of Internal Medicine, Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Muhammad Osama, Department of General Surgery, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: email@example.com. Muhammad Samsoor Zarak, World Health Organization, Karachi, Pakistan, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.