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International governments have imposed a few laws and agreements to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including travel restrictions, mask use, quarantines, social seclusion,
and consistent hand washing and sanitizing. Pharmaceutical companies and analysts collaborate to develop safe and effective vaccines for mass immunization in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and related mortality. Despite the availability of vaccines and the overwhelming proof that they are safe, medical professionals, medical students, and the general public are becoming more skeptical of immunization. The COVID-19 vaccination, like other vaccines, can have negative effects. Soreness at the injection site, weariness, headaches, muscle pain, and malaise are some of the COVID-19 vaccine’s mild to moderate side effects. The fear of the side effects persists as a key factor in the decline in willingness and trust in acceptance of the vaccination, despite proof from manufacturers regarding the safety and efficacy of several COVID-19 vaccines. Based on the aforementioned information, the present study was created to evaluate medical students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding COVID-19 immunization.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Following Institutional Review Board permission, the study was carried out at Texila American University’s College of Medicine. Based on previous studies examining attitudes and practices related to vaccination, an anonymous online poll was created. A 15-item survey was given to about 110 medical students to ascertain their attitudes and behaviors toward COVID-19 immunization [Table 1]. The nature and goal of the study were explained to the students, and they were asked to complete the questionnaire. Students who had and had not previously received the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those who would accept and reject the COVID-19 vaccine, were identified using Pearson’s Chi-square. To find determinants of COVID-19 vaccine uptake and intention to take part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, logistic regression was utilized. Statistical product and service solutions 16 was used to analyze the study’s data, and P < 0.05 were regarded as significant
Survey questionnaire to evaluate the attitude and behavior on COVID-19 vaccination among medical students of TAU COM
1 Vaccine is important for me to stay healthy as a future physician
2 It is my role as a future physician to learn about vaccines for myself and my patients
3 Development of a COVID-19 vaccine is important to decrease the spread of the disease. COVID-19
4 Vaccination is important for the overall public health of our communities
5 The COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory for the general public
6 The COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory for all healthcare providers
7 COVID-19 vaccination is important for me as a future physician
8 I would like to be involved in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
9 Has any of your family members or friends vaccinated themselves against the COVID-19
10 I am concerned about the adverse side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine
11 As an adult, have you ever delayed getting a vaccine for reasons other than illness or allergy?
12 Have you ever been reluctant or hesitant to get a vaccination?
13 Do you plan on getting a flu vaccine this flu season
14 I would like to describe my attitude toward receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as: Very keen, pretty positive, neutral, quite uneasy, against it, do not know 15 If my family or friends were thinking of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, I would:
Strongly encourage them, Encourage them, Not say anything, Ask them to delay the vaccine,
Suggest that they do not get the vaccine, Do not know
The majority of the participants had a favorable attitude toward vaccinations and believed that the COVID-19 vaccine should be made mandatory for the general public and healthcare professionals to stop the disease’s spread [Figure 1]. The participants acknowledged the value of the COVID-19 vaccination, but only 53% said that they would take part in a study of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the majority said that they would not take the flu vaccine this flu season. Students are willing to receive the vaccination right now, but they do have some reservations about the potential negative effects. Despite this, most students are hopeful about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and intend to urge their family members and friends to do the same [Figure 2]
As health institutions start to prepare for the immunization rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is critical to comprehend medical students’ viewpoints. Reiter et al. noted that all those interacting with patients in a clinical setting should have faith in the efficacy and safety of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. One of the most important factors influencing vaccination decisions is medical and public health professionals’ advice, which is also one of the best predictors of vaccine acceptance. Similar to earlier studies that have indicated good opinions
toward vaccinations among medical students, the vast majority of this cohort in the present study expressed positive attitudes toward immunizations in general and the importance of vaccines for themselves and patients.
However, just 53% said that they would take part in a COVID-19 vaccination study, and 65% said that they would not take the flu shot this flu season. The majority of students expressed the opinion that vaccinations are essential for maintaining health and that family member should also obtain them. While the majority of the participants in our study felt that vaccine development is crucial for reducing disease transmission, students who are eager to receive the vaccine right away worry about its potential negative effects and support mandatory vaccination programs. This is corroborated by the fact that the COVID-19 vaccine and the pace of its development are surrounded by a great deal of criticism. Compared to the average time frame for vaccine development, it took less than a year. In contrast, the vast majority of our participants expressed support for the COVID-19 vaccine and concurred that its development is crucial to stopping the disease’s spread. In addition, they concurred that both the general people and healthcare professionals should be required to receive the vaccine. Similarly, respondents from a younger age cohort are more likely to accept the vaccine than older participants.
In contrast, the vast majority of our participants expressed support for the COVID-19 vaccine and concurred that its development is crucial to stopping the disease’s spread. In addition, they concurred that both the general people and healthcare professionals should be required to receive the vaccine. In a similar vein, respondents who are younger in age are more likely to accept the vaccine than participants who are older.
Physicians and other medical professionals have a significant impact on vaccination decisions, and their recommendations are important predictors of patient acceptance of the vaccine.
The goal of getting a positive result from the outcome of these vaccine studies is defeated by the medical staff’s and medical student's lack of confidence. It was discovered that the overall hesitation against vaccines did not directly connect with that of the COVID-19 vaccine; however, vaccine efficiency is another element that affects its uptake. According to reports, the likelihood that people will accept the COVID-19 vaccine increases with efficacy levels of at least 70% and higher. The idea and understanding of how to manage and endure injection site pain, a well-known adverse effect of vaccination, may also be seen as contributing to the vaccine’s increased adoption.
An educational program that aims to improve students’ knowledge of the COVID-19 vaccine and educate them on how to counsel others about vaccination is clearly needed, according to research. The low response rate (27%) and data collection at a single medical school in this study are limitations that may limit its generalizability. Despite its limitations, this study provides insight into medical students’ attitudes and actions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The study assessed medical students’ attitudes and behaviors about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and emphasized the necessity for an educational curriculum regarding the vaccine’s safety and efficacy to encourage the uptake.