COVID-19 vaccine acceptability among health care workers in Ethiopia: do we practice what we preach?

Daniel Yilma, Rezika Mohammed, Seid Getahun Abdela, Wendemagegn Enbiale, Fasil Seifu, Myrthe Pareyn, Laurens Liesenborghs, Johan van Griensven, Saskia van Henten

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OBJECTIVE: We assessed healthcare workers (HCWs) COVID-19 vaccine acceptability in Ethiopia.

METHODS: We carried out a cross-sectional survey from February to April 2021 in HCWs from five teaching hospitals. HCWs were selected using convenient sampling, and data were collected through a survey link. Descriptive analysis and mixed-effect logistic regression were performed. A total of 1,314 HCWs participated in the study.

RESULTS: We found that 25.5% (n = 332) of the HCWs would not accept a COVID-19 vaccine and 20.2% (n = 264) were not willing to recommend COVID-19 vaccination to others. Factors associated with vaccine non-acceptance were female sex (AOR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.3-2.5), the perception that vaccines are unsafe (AOR = 15.0; 95% CI: 8.7-25.9), not considering COVID-19 as health risk (AOR = 4.4; 95% CI: 2.0-9.5) and being unconcerned about contracting COVID-19 at work (AOR = 3.5; 95% CI: 1.5-8.4). Physicians were more willing to accept vaccination than other HCWs. Higher vaccine acceptability was also noted with increasing age. Participants most often indicated safety concerns as the determining factor on their decision to get vaccinated or not.

CONCLUSION: Overall, a quarter of HCWs would not accept a COVID-19 vaccine. Communications and training should address vaccine safety concerns. Additionally, emphasis should be given to showing current and future impact of COVID-19 on the personal, public and country level unless control efforts are improved. Interventions aimed to increase vaccine uptake should focus their efforts on younger and non-physician HCWs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19/prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination


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