Assessment of knowledge, attitudes and response to covid-19 vaccination among university students: a case study of Makerere University School of Statistics students
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Background: COVID-19 vaccines are one of the fastest vaccines to be developed ever due to the intense pressure exerted on the health facilities by the disease. However, general knowledge, attitudes and response to COVID-19 vaccination are poorly understood. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and response to COVID-19 vaccination among university students. Method: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire- based study that was carried out between December, 2021 and February, 2022. The online questionnaire link was sent to student’s WhatsApp groups. A total of 100 students participated in the survey. Result. There were 100 respondents with 52% girls and 48% boys. Of them more were of an Anglican religion (34%), from the central region of Uganda (38%) and with age less than 23years (72%). Generally, 76% of the respondents had a high knowledge about COVID-19 vaccine, 79% knew about the side effects of the vaccine, 63% knew about the effectiveness of the vaccine and almost all students knew that COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge in Uganda. Students who were knowledgeable were most likely to have been vaccinated compared to others. Forexample 86.21% of the students who were knowledgeable about the side effects of the vaccine had been vaccinated compared to 13.79% that were not knowledgeable. Fifty six percent (56%) of the respondents had unfavourable attitudes towards covid-19 vaccination, 53% agreed that covid-19 vaccine is essential and safe, 46% agreed to encourage their family, friends and relatives to get vaccinated. Respondents who had favourable attitude towards covid-19 vaccine responded positively to covid-19 vaccination i.e. (67.24%) had been vaccinated compared to those with unfavourable attitudes. Response to COVID-19 vaccination was found to be associated with; region of origin, knowledge about the side effects of the vaccine, knowledge about the effectiveness of the vaccine, attitudes towards safety of the vaccine and many others. Conclusion: The study population was knowledgeable about COVID-19 vaccine (89.66%), had an unfavourable attitude towards COVID-19 vaccine (56%). Nonetheless about 58% had been vaccinated. Recommendation: The government should promote community partnership by holding regular teleseminars to receive and respond directly to the questions from the general public. This can help to increase peoples’ trust in the vaccine.