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Majid Alabdulla 1 Article
Maternal vaccine hesitancy towards COVID-19 immunisation of children in Qatar: a population-based cross-sectional study
Shuja Reagu, Suruchi Mohan, Johnny Awwad, Majid Alabdulla
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022056.   Published online July 6, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022056
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study was conducted in Qatar to explore beliefs and attitudes among mothers towards coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination for their children and to understand major factors influencing vaccine hesitancy among these mothers.
METHODS
A population-based, online cross-sectional survey was conducted between 15 October and 15 November 2020. A composite questionnaire incorporating a validated vaccine hesitancy tool was developed and administered in both English and Arabic. Approval was obtained from the local ethics committee. Participation was voluntary and offered to all adult residents of Qatar through an online link available on social media platforms and local news portals. Only adult respondents who self-identified as mothers were included in the present study. No personal identifying data were collected.
RESULTS
Of the mothers surveyed, 29.4% exhibited COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy regarding their children. This exceeded these mothers’ rate of personal vaccine hesitancy (27.5%). Hesitancy rates varied significantly with ethnicity, with the highest among Qatari mothers (51.3%). Intention to vaccinate children did not differ significantly between mothers who accepted the vaccine for themselves and those who did not. Overall, the main reported concerns related to long-term vaccine safety. To a significant extent, mothers relied most on self-directed research on vaccine safety for decision-making.
CONCLUSIONS
The rate of maternal COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy exceeded both those mothers’ rate of personal vaccine hesitancy and the hesitancy rate in the general population. The intention to vaccinate children was independent of maternal vaccination history. Factors influencing maternal vaccine hesitancy differ from those influencing personal hesitancy and require an informed public health response.
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health