Assessing willingness to be vaccinated against Ebola virus among at risk communities in Kasese district, Uganda
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Introduction: In December 2018, Uganda approved vaccination of all front-line workers against Ebola Virus in several districts that were designated as high-risk for Ebola outbreaks. Following the June 2019 Ebola outbreak in Kasese district, vaccination was extended to other people with special attention to contacts and contact of contacts of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patients. This study aimed at determining willingness to receive the EVD vaccine among high-risk communities and the associated factors. Methodology: A cross sectional survey was conducted among the general population in Kasese district to assess their willingness to receive the EVD vaccine. Univariate analysis was conducted to summarise variables in form of proportions. ꭓ2 and fishers exact tests were used to test for association between knowledge and willingness. A multivariate logistic regression was used to measure association between willingness and socio-demographic factors where odds ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals were obtained. Results: A total of 411 respondents were surveyed, 52.55% being female, 51.1% aged 18-30 years and 62.29% residing in rural areas. 69.83% of the respondents were willing to receive the EVD vaccine. Being female (OR; 3.3, 95% CI; 2.13-5.19, p<0.0001), being educated (95% CI; 1.66-108.25, p=0.0149), access to TV (OR; 1.8, 95% CI; 1.16-2.79, p=0.0082) and earning 500,000-1,000,000 (95% CI; 1.07-61.58, p=0.0425) were associated with willingness to receive the EVD vaccine. Knowledge on the vaccine was not associated with willingness yet positive attitude was associated with willingness (OR; 11.86, 95% CI; 7.21-19.49, p <0.0001). Discussion: The level of willingness was over two thirds despite the vaccine being new. This was explained by the recent history of EVD outbreak in Kasese and the DRC which made communities realise the consequences of EVD and thus appreciate the need to vaccinate. Conclusion: Over two thirds of respondents (69.83%) were willing to receive the EVD vaccine. Willingness was associated with sex, attitude, education, income, but not knowledge. There is need for more sensitisation since ring vaccination requires high acceptance rate to form an effective buffer to prevent spread of the disease.