Factors that influence covid-19 vaccine acceptance among the urban youth in Kampala district : a case of Kawempe Division
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Coronavirus pandemic has emerged as one of the fatality phenomena causing crisis continentally. Diverse, but similar strategic mechanisms were designed to mitigate the swift dissemination and morbidity of the virus. Policies, restraining in kind such as lockdowns, suspension of mass gatherings, closure of public institutions, suspension of external travels among others, were implemented. These preventive measures were undermined by re-emergence of other Covid-19 waves due to inconsistences in observation and loosening attempts. In attempt to address this crisis, Covid-19 vaccines were introduced. However, the acceptance of immunization turned out to be a barricade not only in Uganda but across the world. This study therefore, aimed at examining the factors that influence Covid-19 vaccine among the urban youth in Kampala district. The research objectives include; individual factors that influence Covid-19 vaccine acceptance, socioeconomic context that influences Covid-19 vaccine acceptance and lastly, the nature of interventions that influence Covid-19 vaccine acceptance among the urban youth. The study adopted descriptive and explanatory research designs encompassing a mixed methods approach. A survey was used to gather information from 391 youths who were the primary respondents, while semi-structured interview guides assisted in gathering information from 8 key informants to satisfy the study objectives. Analysis of findings was executed using SPSS for the survey and thematic content analysis for key informant interviews. Acceptance of vaccines were uncovered improving with 63.2%. Reasons such as advocacy for immunization by religious leaders, positive reaction fueled by social media posts, and belief that vaccines were safe and effective for protection against Covid-19 virus justified this mild response. A much better response would be realized if vaccine acceptance promotion strategies focused on; educating the youth about vaccines to inform the fear arising from vaccine side effects, concerns of safety, misconception and others. The application of coercion would be most effective under indirect enforcement as direct application sparks disgust and suspicion. Collaboration with, and proper facilitation of; not only religious leaders but also other category of leaders would work wonders in regard to acceptance increase.