Commentary on COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in sub-Saharan Africa

Theophilus Acheampong, Severin Kabakama* (Corresponding Author), Eveline Konje, Jerome Nyhalah Dinga, Colman Kishamawe, Imran Morhason-Bello, Peter Hayombe, Olufela Adeymi, Ernest Chimuka, Ivan Lumu, John Amuasi, Tafadzwa Dzinamarira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Rates of vaccination against COVID-19 remain lower in sub-Saharan Africa than in other low and middle-income regions. This is, in part, attributed to vaccine hesitancy, mainly due to misinformation about vaccine origin, efficacy and safety. From August to December 2021, we gathered the latest experiences and opinions on four vaccine hesitancy-related areas (policies, perceived risk religious beliefs, and misinformation) from 12 sub-Saharan African researchers, four of whom have published about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The authors included two political and business experts, six public health specialists, five epidemiologists, and four biostatisticians from ten sub-Saharan African countries( Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe). The authors’ overarching opinions were that political influences, religious beliefs and low perceived risk exists in sub-Saharan Africa, and they collectively contribute to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Communication strategies should target populations initially thought by policy makers to be at low risk, use multiple communication avenues and address major concerns in the population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number130
Number of pages4
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume7
Issue number7
Early online date11 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

This research was funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Grant number: OPP1075938-PEARL Program Support) awarded to Jerome Nyhalah Dinga.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • sub-Saharan Africa

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