Lay beliefs of COVID-19 vaccine refusal among intercity commercial drivers in the Volta region of Ghana: recommendations for improved vaccine uptake.

Publication date: Mar 01, 2024

The COVID-19 vaccine has faced increased hesitancy in Ghana and the Volta region in particular since its rollout. Acceptance of the vaccine among intercity commercial drivers is crucial, especially in the Volta region, as they transport people within and outside the country and could fuel the transmission of the virus if not vaccinated. We therefore established lay beliefs surrounding COVID-19 vaccine refusal among intercity commercial drivers in the Volta region of Ghana, as well as their recommendations for improved vaccine uptake. We purposively interviewed twenty-five (25) intercity commercial drivers who had not been vaccinated for COVID-19 in the Volta region of Ghana using a semi-structured interview guide and analysed their responses thematically using the ATLAS. ti software. Various (ten) beliefs surrounding COVID-19 vaccine refusal were identified. These include the nonexistence of COVID-19, being immune to COVID-19, and the belief in the nonexistence of vaccines and vaccines being meant for the sick. Other beliefs identified were the belief that the COVID-19 vaccine is meant to reduce Africa’s population, that the vaccine triggers other health complications leading to death, the belief that vaccination could cause financial loss, political mistrust, that the COVID-19 vaccine is not permitted by God, and the belief that prayer prevents COVID-19 infection. They also suggested that the adoption of persuasive communication techniques, the publication of information on those who died of COVID-19, providing evidence of tests conducted on the vaccine, testing people before vaccination, provision of care to those who may experience side effects from the vaccine, and being able to explain why varied vaccines are used for the same virus could help improve vaccine uptake. Our findings show that there is a general lack of understanding and mistrust surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine among intercity commercial drivers in the Volta region. Hence, health promotion officers and communicators in the region need to be knowledgeable on the vaccine as well as on the conspiracy theories thwarting its uptake to provide comprehensive education to the public and intercity commercial drivers to improve its uptake.

Concepts Keywords
Covid COVID-19
Drivers COVID-19 vaccine
Ghana Ghana
Mistrust Lay beliefs
Vaccines Vaccine hesitancy
Volta region

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease VO vaccine
disease IDO country
disease VO vaccinated
disease MESH COVID-19
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
disease VO population
disease MESH complications
disease MESH death
disease VO vaccination
disease MESH infection
disease VO LACK

Original Article

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