Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance amongst doctors practising in Cross River State, Nigeria

1Iwuafor, A. A., 1Ogban, G. I., 1Ita, O. I., 2Offiong, A. B., 2Owai, P. A., 1Udoh, U. A., and 3Elem, D. E.

1Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria

2Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

*Correspondence to:; +2348033441539; ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6796-3870


Background: COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most effective public health intervention approaches for prevention of COVID-19. Despite its well-known efficacy and safety, significant proportion of frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers remain hesitant about accepting the vaccine for whatever reasons. This study aimed to determine acceptance rate and determinants of vaccine refusal among doctors in Cross River State, Nigeria.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional survey of doctors using structured online questionnaire administered via the WhatsApp platform of the medical doctors’ association, in order to assess their rate of acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, and reasons for vaccine refusal. The predictors of vaccine acceptance were analysed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results: Of the 443 medical doctors targeted on the WhatsApp platform, 164 responded to the questionnaire survey, giving a response rate of 37.0% (164/443). The mean age of the respondents is 38 ±6.28 years, 91 (55.5%) are 38 years old and above, 97 (59.1%) are males and 67 (40.9%) are females, giving a male-to-female ratio of 1.4:1. The greater proportion of the respondents are physicians (70/148, 47.3%) and about three-quarter of the participants (127/164, 77.4%) had received COVID-19 vaccine. The proportion of physicians who had received COVID-19 vaccine (57/70, 81.4%) was more than the proportion of general practitioners (31/42, 73.8%) and surgeons (24/35, 68.6%). Low perceived benefit of vaccination was the main reason given for COVID-19 vaccine refusal (45.9%, 17/37). No significant association was found between vaccine refusal and suspected predictors (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Our study revealed high rate of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among medical doctors especially among the physicians, with the surgeons showing lowest acceptance rate. A significant proportion would not take vaccine because they perceived it lacks much benefits. To raise vaccine acceptance among doctors, more efforts on vaccine literacy that would target doctors from all sub-specialties especially surgeons and incorporate vaccine benefits should be made.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine, vaccine acceptance, vaccine hesitance, Calabar, Nigeria

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Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance amongst doctors practising in Cross River State, Nigeria