Variations in COVID-19 Vaccine Attitudes and Acceptance Among Refugees and Lebanese Nationals Pre- and Post-Vaccine Rollout in Lebanon

Vaccine hesitancy among displaced populations is associated with inequitable access to services and mistrust of authorities, among other factors. International Medical Corps’ Lebanon country team and HQ technical staff conducted a study to evaluate variations in knowledge, attitudes and perceptions toward COVID-19 vaccines and factors associated with vaccine acceptance among refugees and Lebanese nationals accessing 60 International Medical Corps-supported primary healthcare centers (PHCCs) through two cross-sectional surveys during pre-vaccine (February 2021) and post-vaccine (June 2021) rollout. Vaccine acceptance was low among both groups in Survey 1 but higher in Survey 2 in Lebanese nationals versus refugees. Participants reported greater perceived benefits of vaccination, higher perceived COVID-19 susceptibility and lower perceived vaccination barriers in Survey 2 versus Survey 1. Post-vaccine rollout, refugees had lower odds of vaccine acceptance, while older age had greater vaccine acceptance. These findings suggested the need for more focused, dynamic and tailored strategies to promote vaccine acceptance, reduce vaccine hesitancy and ensure vaccine equity for refugees. These findings also helped the Lebanon team with targeting their vaccine communication efforts for improved vaccine coverage in refugees coming to PHCCs. International Medical Corps plans to publish a new article with findings from a similar survey of healthcare workers.

Start Date:2020

End Date:2020

Partners: Brown University
Lebanon Ministry of Public Health

Donors: International Medical Corps

Publications: Vaccines