COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and its Associated Factors among Pregnant and Lactating Women in Coastal Karnataka, India: A Cross-sectional Study
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kanachur Institute of Medical Sciences, Natekal, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global threat. Despite the hazard of the pandemic and availability of COVID-19 vaccines, a major hindrance exists related to vaccine hesitancy. The acceptance of vaccine among pregnant and lactating women widely differs in countries.
Aim: To assess the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and the factors influencing it among pregnant and lactating women.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at four selected Primary Health Centres (PHCs) of Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka, South India, from October 2021 to December 2021 among pregnant and lactating women. Sample size estimated was 350. Study subjects were selected by simple random sampling method. A questionnaire was developed based on the literature review and validated by two subject experts regarding knowledge of COVID-19 vaccines, perceptions, attitude and their vaccination status and information was collected using questionnaire. Perceptions and attitude were scored based on Likert scale. Predictors of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance were identified using univariate analysis. Further, multivariate regression model was used to obtain the Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) and Confidence Intervals (CI) using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 27.0.
Results: Study participants included 247 (70.6%) pregnant women and 103 (29.4%) lactating women. Among them 218 (62.3%) were aware that pregnant women can take the vaccine and 184 (52.6%) were aware that lactating women can take the vaccines. Overall vaccine acceptance among the study participants was 208 (59.4%). Vaccine acceptance was significantly higher among pregnant women (AOR: 3.02; CI: 1.58-5.77), women living in nuclear families (AOR: 4.27; CI: 2.31-7.89) and those with a positive attitude (AOR: 17.48; CI: 9.52-32.09) as compared to their counterparts.
Conclusion: The study highlights that vaccine acceptance was higher in pregnant women as compared to lactating mothers. Improving the awareness and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination to overcome the fear of vaccination would help control the disease.