Saima Zehra, Parvez Anwar Khan, Hiba Sami and Haris M. Khan
Article publication date: 2021-03-01
Vol. 39 No. 1 (yearly), pp. 19-30.
COVID-19, Vaccine, Hesitancy, Knowledge, Behaviour.
Purpose: COVID-19, a pandemic declared on March 11th, 2020, makes it crucial for the whole world to control and ensure safety measures to control such infections in the future. Fear, worry, and panic remain widespread, especially among healthcare workers. We aimed to compare the knowledge, attitude, anxiety, and behaviours of medical and non-medical students towards vaccination against COVID-19.
Material and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study for one month on the MBBS/BDS and undergraduate nonmedical students through an online questionnaire which consisted of a multiple choice KAP questionnaire consisting of four sections (i.e., socio-demographic details, knowledge, attitudes, and behavior). Multiple linear regression was performed to determine the variables predicting knowledge and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination.
Results: Vaccine hesitancy was detected in 17% of Undergraduate Medical Students, while the same was noted in 45% of non-medical students. 48.7% of medical students knew about different vaccines available in India for COVID-19 viz a viz the same in non-medical students was 49.5%. The majority of the students (35.8% medical and 48.6% non-medical) considered Covishield the best currently available vaccine in India. The majority of the students (Medical 86.5% and non-medical 75.2%) thought that the COVID-19 vaccine could reduce the spread of the disease in the community. In the multiple regression model, better socioeconomic status, holding nuclear families, and having a history of essential vaccinations uptake were linked with knowledge, while attitudes were substantially associated with being female and having a previous history of vital vaccines uptake.
Conclusion: The results showed that medical students had sufficient knowledge, an optimistic attitude, and moderate levels of concern towards COVID-19. Vaccine hesitancy was much less among medical when compared to non-medical students. Expanding knowledge and regulatory oversight of vaccine research and the public release of safety data may lessen vaccine reluctance among students.