Attitude of the Estonian-speaking population towards the COVID-19 vaccination
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Tartu Health Care College, Estonia
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A493
Background and Objectives: Vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way to protect from harmful diseases, but unfortunately, vaccine resistance is on the rise worldwide. The aim of study was to clarify the attitude of Estonian-speaking population towards COVID-19 vaccination and main reasons for accepting or refusing vaccination. Methods: The online electronic questionnaire was completed online by Estonian-speaking citizens in May 2021. Descriptive statistics, t- or Mann-Whitney, and χ2- or Fisher Exact tests were used. In order to measure attitudes Likert-scale (5 degrees), and to identify risk factors associated with decision to vaccinate univariate logistic regression analyses were used. Results: Participants (n=508; 33.5±12.3y) were divided into: pro-vaccination (78.7%), many of them had already been vaccinated with either one or two doses (36.5%, 31.5%, respectively) or were planning vaccinate soon (32%); the skeptics had not decided (12%); anti-vaccination (9.3%). The main reason why vaccination was preferred was the belief that by vaccinating we help those who for some reason cannot vaccinate themselves (81.7%) and in case of concomitant diseases COVID-19 can be extremely severe (80.9%). 6.5% of anti-vaccinators believed that their body protects itself from the disease, and 4.7% believed that vaccination should not violate the sanctity of the human body. The main reasons for vaccination resistance were insufficient research on vaccines (80.9%) and general attitude towards the necessity of vaccines (48.9%). The belonging to vaccination group was influenced by living in an urban area and student status (OR=1.96, 95% CI 1.28–3.02; OR=2.39, 95% CI 1.26–4.55, respectively). Anti-vaccination status was primarily influenced by a secondary vs higher education (OR=2.34, 95% CI 1.14–4.77, p=0.02). Skeptics and opponents of vaccination mainly believe media (24.6%); vaccinators mostly the opinion of health professionals (16%). Conclusions: Vaccine skepticism is a global problem and thus awareness and vaccination campaigns must continue.