Original Article | Volume 19: 29 | 18 Jun 2024

Knowledge, acceptance and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant women on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia: Across-sectional study

ABSTRACT

Introduction: This prospective cross-sectional study, conducted from 1 April 2022 to 31 October 2022, aimed to assess the knowledge, acceptance and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant women visiting the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Methods: The study included all pregnant women aged ≥18 years. Sociodemographic data, information related to COVID-19 and vaccination and information on the knowledge, acceptance and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccination were collected using a validated questionnaire.
Results: Out of 420 eligible pregnant women, 412 participated in the study, yielding a response rate of 98.1%. Of the respondents, 97.1% had received a COVID-19 vaccine, while 2.9% had not. Approximately 85.2% demonstrated a good understanding of COVID-19 vaccination. Among those vaccinated, 76.8% based their decision on recommendations from healthcare providers or the Ministry of Health. Among those unvaccinated, 91.7% believed that COVID-19 vaccines could harm their pregnancy and baby. Although 51% of the respondents expressed concerns about vaccine safety, 202 still chose to be vaccinated, indicating a willingness to prioritise their health despite apprehensions.
Conclusion: The study found no significant link between acceptance and good knowledge of COVID-19 vaccination. However, income and prior COVID-19 booster vaccination were strongly associated with acceptance. Despite safety concerns, 97.1% of the respondents had received a COVID-19 vaccine. This emphasises the importance of providing comprehensive information and addressing concerns to support informed decision-making among pregnant women. Healthcare providers play a vital role in guiding them through this crucial decision-making process.

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