Ebola Vaccine Uptake and Attitudes Among Community Members and Healthcare Workers in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

North Kivu, Ituri, South Kivu) in the DRC was the second largest EVD outbreak in history. During this outbreak, Ebola vaccination was an integral part of the EVD response. However, challenges in gaining community confidence in Ebola vaccination and other preventive measures severely undermined response activities. In March 2021, International Medical Corps, in collaboration with the CDC and Brown University, conducted two cross-sectional surveys to
investigate the drivers of and barriers to Ebola vaccine uptake and attitudes among healthcare workers (HCWs) and and Mabalako). Of the 438 HCWs enrolled in the study, 95.8% reported that they were eligible and offered an Ebola vaccine. Overall uptake of the Ebola vaccine was high among HCWs, but uptake at the first offer was substantially lower, which was associated with mistrust of the vaccine source. Among the 631 community members surveyed, 90.2% reported a high perceived risk of EVD and 71.6% believed that the vaccine could reduce EVD severity. However, 63.7% believed the vaccine had serious side effects. Among the 474 community members who had been offered vaccination, 83.8% received the vaccine, and 45.3% of those vaccinated received the vaccine after two or more offers. While Ebola vaccine uptake was high among community members, mixed attitudes and vaccine delays were common. Findings from both studies highlight the importance of communicating positive vaccine information to address underlying mistrust of vaccines and reoffering vaccines during Ebola vaccination efforts during future outbreaks.

Start Date:2020

End Date:2023

Partners: Brown University
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Donors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Publications: Frontiers in Public Health
PLOS Global Public Health