COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Zambia

2 August, 2021

Dear HIFA-Zambia and HIFA colleagues,

Citation, abstract and a oomment from me below.

CITATION: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Zambia: a glimpse at the possible challenges ahead for COVID-19 vaccination rollout in sub-Saharan Africa.

Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. (no pagination), 2021. Carcelen al.

Full text:


With unprecedented speed, multiple vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are available 1 year after the COVID-19 pandemic was first identified. As we push to achieve global control through these new vaccines, old challenges present themselves, including cold-chain storage, the logistics of mass vaccination, and vaccine hesitancy. Understanding how much hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines might occur and what factors may be driving these concerns can improve the ability of public health workers and communicators to maximize vaccine uptake. We nested a survey within a measles-rubella mass vaccination campaign in Zambia in November 2020 and asked about sentiments and beliefs toward COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines.

Among parents bringing their children to receive a measles-rubella vaccine, we found high acceptability of COVID-19 vaccination of their children, but substantial uncertainty and hesitancy about receiving the vaccine themselves. COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy was correlated with beliefs around COVID-19 severity and risk, as well as vaccine safety and effectiveness.

COMMENT (NPW): The authors note: 'We are also limited in our ability to delve deeper into the reasons behind hesitancy... Our findings and limitations highlight the need for future qualitative research to understand the underlying motivators and concerns among those who are and are not intending to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.' It would seem important that any study of vaccine hesitancy also explores the reasons behind it?

Join HIFA-Zambia:

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,