Vol 3-1 Short Review Article

Teachers’ Perception On COVID-19 Vaccine: Implications on COVID-19 Prevention in Kenya

Patrick M. Mutua1*, Joshua M. Mutiso2, Jemimah A. Simabuni2, Michael M. Gicheru2

1ImmunoBiologic Research and Consultancy Centre, P.O Box 295, Kibwezi, Kenya

2Department of Zoological Sciences, Kenyatta University, P.O Box 30709-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

Currently, there are 89 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in different phases of clinical trials. Twelve COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in different countries. The Kenyan government has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and is in the process of rolling out vaccination to priority targeted groups based on the World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines in the context of limited supply. Among the targeted priority groups by the Kenyan government are teachers. In January, 2021, we surveyed 380 teachers in Kinango and Samburu sub counties in Kwale county in Coast region in Kenya to determine knowledge gaps, opportunities, acceptance rates and factors influencing acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. ANOVA followed by Tukeys Post Hoc analyses were performed to determine the effect of gender and level of education on COVID-19 vaccine potential acceptance and in evaluating the effect of teaching experience and teachers age on vaccine safety. While 99.5 % of the respondents knew COVID-19 is a viral disease and were able to list three correct symptoms of the infection and that 41.1 % knew of a person who had died of COVID-19, only 34.7 % agreed they would accept to be vaccinated if the vaccine was safe. Male and female teachers with primary teacher certificate and diploma qualifications were more likely (P˂0.05) to accept to be vaccinated compared to teachers holding degrees. However, the association between vaccine acceptance among the certificate and diploma respondents was not (P˃0.05) significant. Additionally, 36.8 % of the sampled teachers knew they are targeted priority group for the COVID-19 vaccination with 92.4 % of the teachers agreeing that they needed more information on the vaccine. Among the sampled, only 12.9 % thought the vaccine was safe. Teachers aged 23-35 years and those aged 46-59 years comprising of 11.5 % and 56.1% respectively of the sampled teachers, substantially (P˃0.05) disagreed the vaccine was safe compared to teachers aged 36-45 years who formed 8.7 % of the sampled respondents. Among the interviewees, 93.1 % suggested a joint approach by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Education (MoE) in leading the COVID-19 vaccine campaign awareness. Based on these data, there is need by the government, particularly the TSC and MoE and other public health providers, to mount serious public vaccination literacy campaign in order to promote trust among Kenyan teachers and bolster voluntary COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Further, the government should seize the high COVID-19 vaccine acceptance potential among primary certificate and diploma teachers in prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine roll out among teachers. Primary school teachers should, based on WHO roadmap of sequential distribution of the vaccines, be vaccinated before the secondary school teachers because of inability to effectively keep physically distant form their learners and also due to high congestion in the institutions.

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