Background: The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been one of the most important measures to reduce spread and severity of COVID-19 infection. However, acceptance of the vaccine has met with challenges due to the speed of its development and concerns about side-effects. The aim of this study was to assess knowledge of the vaccination as well as barriers to acceptance and the overall impact of the vaccination on personal protective behaviors of surgical patients.
Method: In this cross-sectional study, a self-completed questionnaire was given to inpatients on all general surgery wards at a district general hospital between April and May 2021. Participation was voluntary. The questionnaire was designed to assess participant knowledge of and adherence to the COVID-19 vaccination programme as well as to understand participants views on other protective measures to prevent and reduce COVID-19 infection. Approximately 200-300 patients are admitted to our department monthly.
Results: A total of 202 respondents participated in the study, males comprised 29.2% of the individuals surveyed. The majority of the patients were over 40 years old (68.3%). All the participants were aware of the vaccine, and the government sensitization material was the most common source of information (37.9%).
The majority of individuals surveyed (79.7%) had received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the unvaccinated patients, 33 participants reported not being offered the vaccine while 4 patients stated that they do not believe in the vaccine.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated that the majority of the patients surveyed were quite familiar with the vaccines and were willing to participate in the vaccination program. However, the knowledge of the vaccine and its adverse effects would best be described as inadequate. Also, participants were largely aware of the measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus and did show a good level of compliance guidance.
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