The frequency of vaccine refusal, which is associated with many factors, is increasing worldwide. The aim of this study was to predict the frequency of vaccine refusal against domestic and foreign COVID-19 vaccines and identify the factors underlying refusal.
A survey consisting of 16 questions about COVID-19 vaccination was conducted either face-to-face or online with 428 parents who agreed to participate in the study. The parents had children who were inpatients or outpatients in the Children’s Hospital of Ankara City Hospital. In the survey, parents were asked about family sociodemographic characteristics, opinions on domestic and foreign COVID-19 vaccines, and reasons for vaccine refusal.
While 66.1% of parents were reluctant to receive foreign COVID-19 vaccines, only 37.4% were reluctant to receive domestic COVID-19 vaccines. The participants’ preference for the domestic vaccine was significantly higher for themselves and their children (P < 0.05). Women were less likely to be willing to receive foreign vaccines than men (P < 0.05). As the education level increased, fewer parents preferred the domestic vaccine for themselves (P = 0.046) and their children (P = 0.005). Both domestic and foreign vaccine acceptability for parents and their children was higher among parents with high anxiety levels regarding COVID-19 infection (P < 0.05). The most common reasons for refusal were anxiety about vaccine side effects, lack of knowledge about the effectiveness of vaccines, and distrust of vaccines originating from abroad.
Most of the participants were hesitant about COVID-19 vaccines. This study demonstrates that vaccine uptake can be increased by considering the higher preference for domestic vaccines.