Vaccine Hesitancy in Albanian university healthcare students: preliminary results
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University of Rome Tor Vergata Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy Italy
University of Rome Tor Vergata
Catholic University of "Our Lady of Good Counsel", Tirana Faculty of Medicine, Catholic University of "Our Lady of Good Counsel", Tirana, Albania Albania
Catholic University of "Our Lady of Good Counsel", Tirana
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A2066
Vaccination is one of the most successful Public Health interventions. Vaccine hesitancy can affect healthcare providers, putting their contribution to vaccination campaigns at risk, since they are also important models for their patients. The following work focuses on vaccine hesitancy among healthcare students in Albania, to identify additional educational needs.

Materials and Methods:
In October 2022, an anonymous questionnaire was submitted to a sample of healthcare students (Medicine and Surgery, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry) of the University of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Tirane). Attitudes, confidence, knowledge and hesitancy towards vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccine, were investigated. The protocol was approved by the Ethical Committee of Policlinico Tor Vergata (Rome).

A total of 384 questionnaires have been collected. Main results of the analysis showed a good degree of confidence in vaccines: 73.7% of respondents fully or partially agreed with the statement “_I can rely on vaccines to stop serious infectious diseases_”, but 10.4% of them declared to “_have refused a recommended vaccine”_. When asked about the public health role of vaccines, 24% of the sample answered “no” or “do not know” to the statement “_Vaccination benefits the whole community_”. A positive attitude was observed in 58.6% of the respondents, who “encouraged others to be vaccinated against COVID-19”. Despite living in a country where the access to COVID-19 vaccines has been disrupted, 75.3% of the sample declared to be vaccinated, although 53.2% affirmed to not feel protected against the COVID-19 infection even after the vaccination. As concerns sources of information, 44.8% of the sample considered TV and radio to be the most influential ones.

The preliminary results of the study show that the fight against vaccine hesitancy and low confidence is still a priority in medical university courses in Albania, and requires further investigations.

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