Researchers study differences in attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccines between women and men in Africa
Social distance throughout COVID-19 on the Kalerwe Market, within the suburb of Kampala, Uganda. Credit score: Yasin Nsubuga/Worldwide Labor Group/Rural Improvement Media Communications

Whereas many research over the previous a number of years have examined folks’s entry to and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines, few research in sub-Saharan Africa have checked out whether or not there have been variations in vaccination charges and intention between women and men. In a new research showing within the journal Frontiers in International Girls’s Well being, researchers discovered that whereas ladies and men self-reported related COVID-19 vaccination charges in 2022, unvaccinated males expressed extra intention to get vaccinated than unvaccinated ladies.

Girls are likely to have higher health-seeking behaviors than males total. Nonetheless, most research regarding COVID-19 vaccination have discovered that intention has been decrease amongst ladies. “We questioned whether or not this may maintain true on the uptake degree,” says Rawlance Ndejjo, a frontrunner of the brand new research and an assistant lecturer within the Division of Illness Management and Environmental Well being at Makerere College.

The comparable vaccination charges between women and men within the research is “an excellent factor to see,” provides Lula Chen, analysis director at MIT Governance Lab (GOV/LAB) and a co-author of the brand new research. “There wasn’t something gendered about how [the vaccine] was being marketed or who was truly having access to it.”

Girls’s decrease intention to vaccinate gave the impression to be pushed by considerations about vaccine security, suggesting that offering factual data about vaccine security from trusted sources, just like the Ministry of Well being, might enhance uptake.

The work is a collaboration between students from the MIT GOV/LAB, Makerere College’s College of Public Well being in Uganda, College of Kinshasa’s College of Public Well being within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), College of Ibadan’s Faculty of Drugs in Nigeria, and Cheikh Anta Diop College in Senegal.

Learning vaccine availability and uptake in sub-Saharan Africa

The authors’ collaboration started in 2021 with analysis into COVID-19 vaccination charges, folks’s willingness to get vaccinated, and the way folks’s belief in numerous authorities formed attitudes towards vaccines in Uganda, the DRC, Senegal, and Nigeria. A survey in Uganda discovered that individuals who acquired details about COVID-19 from well being staff had been extra prone to be vaccinated, stressing the vital position individuals who work within the health-care system can play in vaccination efforts.

Work from different scientists has discovered that ladies had been much less prone to settle for COVID-19 vaccines than males, and that in low- and middle-income international locations, ladies additionally could also be much less prone to get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and fewer prone to intend to get vaccinated, presumably attributable to elements together with decrease ranges of schooling, work obligations, and home care obligations.

Earlier research in sub-Saharan Africa that targeted on variations between women and men with intention and willingness to vaccinate had been inconclusive, Ndejjo says. “You’d hardly discover precise research on uptake of the vaccines,” he provides. For the brand new paper, the researchers aimed to dig into uptake.

Individuals who belief the federal government and well being officers had been extra prone to get vaccinated

The researchers relied on telephone survey information collected from adults within the 4 international locations between March and July 2022. The surveys requested folks about whether or not they’d been vaccinated and whether or not those that had been unvaccinated supposed to get vaccinated, in addition to their attitudes towards COVID-19, their belief in numerous authorities, demographic data, and extra.

General, 48.5% of males mentioned they’d been vaccinated, in comparison with 47.9% of ladies. Belief in authorities appeared to play a task in folks’s determination to vaccinate—receiving data from well being staff about COVID-19 and better belief within the Ministry of Well being had been each correlated with getting vaccinated for males, whereas greater belief within the authorities was correlated with vaccine uptake in ladies.

Decrease curiosity in vaccines amongst ladies appeared associated to security considerations

A smaller share of unvaccinated ladies (54%) mentioned they supposed to get vaccinated, in comparison with 63.4% of males. Extra unvaccinated ladies mentioned they’d considerations concerning the vaccine’s security than unvaccinated males, which might be driving their decrease intention.

The researchers additionally discovered that unvaccinated ladies and men over 40 had related ranges of intention to get vaccinated—decrease intention in ladies beneath 40 might have pushed the distinction between women and men. Youthful ladies might have considerations about vaccines associated to being pregnant, Chen says. If that is so, the analysis means that officers want to offer extra reassurance to pregnant folks about vaccine security, she provides.

Belief in authorities additionally contributed to folks’s intention to vaccinate. Belief within the Ministry of Well being was tied to greater intention to vaccinate for each women and men. Males with extra belief within the World Well being Group had been additionally extra prone to intend to vaccinate.

“There is a have to take care of loads of the myths and misconceptions that exist,” Ndejjo says, in addition to make sure that folks’s considerations associated to vaccine security and effectiveness are addressed. Officers want “to work with trusted sources of data to bridge a number of the gaps that we observe,” he provides. Folks have to be supported of their decision-making to allow them to make one of the best selections for his or her well being.

“This analysis highlights linkages between citizen belief in authorities, their willingness to get vaccines, and, importantly, the variations between males and ladies on this situation—variations that policymakers might want to perceive to be able to design extra focused, gender-specific public well being interventions,” says research co-author Lily L. Tsai, who’s MIT GOV/LAB’s director and founder and the Ford Professor of Political Science at MIT.

Extra data:
Rawlance Ndejjo et al, Intercourse and COVID-19 vaccination uptake and intention within the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda, Frontiers in International Girls’s Well being (2024). DOI: 10.3389/fgwh.2024.1356609

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Researchers research variations in attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines between ladies and men in Africa (2024, July 10)
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