COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in older Syrian refugees: Preliminary findings from an ongoing study

Noura Salibi, Sawsan Abdulrahim* (Corresponding Author), Maria El Haddad, Stephanie Bassil, Zeina El Khoury, Hala Ghattas, Stephen J McCall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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This study assesses COVID-19 vaccine intentions among a sample of older Syrian refugee beneficiaries of a humanitarian organization in Lebanon, and explores factors associated with vaccine refusal. The findings are part of an ongoing rotating 4-wave panel study. The sample was limited to participants from the first panel who completed a phone interview between January-February 2021. Out of 1,037 beneficiaries, almost a third (29%) reported no intention to vaccinate. Reasons for refusal were: newness of the vaccine (35%); preference to maintain precaution measures (21%); belief that the COVID-19 vaccine is not essential (21%); and other (23%). COVID-19 vaccine refusal was significantly associated with perceptions regarding vaccine safety (OR: 5.97; 95%CI: 4.03-8.84) and effectiveness (OR: 6.80; 95%CI:4.44-10.42) but did not differ by age, presence of chronic conditions, self-reported adherence to COVID-19 measures, and perceptions of susceptibility to and severity of COVID-19. Addressing vaccine hesitancy among Syrian refugees in Lebanon necessitates disseminating accurate, accessible, and culturally appropriate information about vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101606
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive medicine reports
Early online date19 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding source
This work was supported by ELRHA’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crisis (R2HC) Programme, which aims to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. R2HC is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Wellcome, and the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of
the NRC or ELRHA. The funding agency was not involved in the data collection, analysis or interpretation.


  • Vaccine acceptance
  • COVID-19
  • Refugees
  • Older adults
  • Lebanon


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