FRIEND OR FOE? THE APPROACH TOWARDS COVID-19 VACCINE IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY: A TERTIARY HEALTHCARE CASE STUDY

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Mohammad Asim
Shaila Wazir Khan
Sardar Muhammad Alam
Danish Alam
Khatira Wahid
Fakhria Wahid

Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether COVID-19 vaccine was treated any differently in a region with a high prevalence of hesitancy towards vaccination i.e. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan and vaccine coverage.


Methods: Questionnaires were filled by participants visiting an outpatient neurology clinic in a tertiary care hospital in Peshawar (North West General Hospital and Research Center (NWGH)). 


Results: Statistical analysis of the collected data revealed that only 31% of the study population was vaccinated. Unavailability of the vaccines and fear of side effects were reported as the key reasons by 0-19 and 40-49 age groups, respectively (p-value<0.00001).  Furthermore, side effects of vaccination were more prevalent in age group 30-29 as compared to older age groups (p-value<0.00001). The frequency of side effects was also significantly higher in individuals who had received 2 doses of vaccine. No significant relationship was established between a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 infection and vaccination status.


Conclusions: The fear of vaccination still remains in the KP province. Younger population remained unvaccinated due to lack of resources. Both age and number of doses played an important role in development of side effects from vaccination.


 

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