Acceptance, Advocacy, and Perception of Health Care Providers on COVID-19 Vaccine: Comparing Early Stage of COVID-19 Vaccination with Latter Stage in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia

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Vaccination of healthcare providers has recently gained focused attention of public health officials. As HCPs have direct contact with the population, and HCPs significantly influence the population, this study aimed to compare the acceptance rate, advocacy rate, and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine among HCPs in two time periods. In this repeated cross-sectional study, different HCPs were assessed in two periods ten months apart, i.e., November to December 2020 and September to October 2021, which were before and after COVID-19 vaccine approval by authorities. The study was conducted in Qatif Central Hospital, Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. There were 609 respondents: 236 participants in the first period and 373 participants in the second period. Only 13 participants did not get the COVID-19 vaccine. There was around a 40% difference in the acceptance rate between the two study periods; the latter period was higher at 94.7%. Furthermore, 24.1% was the difference between the willingness to advocate the COVID-19 vaccine for others; the first period had a lower percentage (60.1%). Overall, results of the study showed that vaccine hesitancy, as well as the willingness to advocate for the vaccine, were improved between the pre-vaccine approval period and post-vaccine approval period, showing that the efforts made by the government improved COVID-19 acceptance and advocacy among HCPs. However, vaccine hesitancy is not a new issue, and for a better understanding of HCPs’ beliefs, a qualitative study is needed.

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