FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH VACCINE ACCEPTANCE AND RECOMMENDATION AMONG DENTAL STUDENTS AND FACULTY PREVIOUSLY INFECTED WITH COVID-19; A STUDY FROM SAUDI ARABIA
Keywords:COVID-19, Dental staff, Vaccine Hesitancy, Awareness
This study aims to explore vaccine acceptance and recommendation behaviors among clinical dental students and their faculty who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. The study was conducted among previously infected dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) in an academic setting to evaluate their willingness to accept vaccines and recommend them to family and patients. Logistic regression was conducted to determine significant variables associated with vaccine attitudes. Among 316 personnel 62 indicated previous infection (19.6%). Personnel who were willing to take the vaccine, or recommend it to patients, or to family were: 67.7%, 87.1%, and 85.5% respectively. Vaccine acceptance was significantly associated with vaccine awareness and number of long-term COVID-19 complications (P=.003, .033 respectively). Vaccine recommendation to family, and patients was significantly associated with vaccine awareness only (P=.005, .006 respectively). It is concluded that some previously infected academic dental personnel are unwilling to accept COVID-19 vaccines or recommend them to others. This was mainly due to lack of vaccine awareness. Efforts directed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine awareness are warranted by dental schools in collaboration with Ministry of Health authorities. It is also necessary to closely monitor, and provide support to personnel affected by long COVID
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