Objective: To evaluate the prevalence, knowledge, attitude and acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines and related factors among university students in the United Arab Emirates. Methods: Analytical cross-sectional study undertaken among a convenient sample of medical and non-medical colleges of Ajman University using a self-administrated question-naire. The questionnaire included demographic data as well as assessing knowledge of COVID-19, attitudes and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines. Results: A total of 467 students participated in the study and completed the questionnaire. A total of 181 (38.8%) participants reported that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 virus, principally with the Sinopharm vaccine (84%). Vaccination against the COVID-19 virus was less prevalent among Arabic nationalities compared to other nationalities, but more prevalent among students from health science colleges compared to those from non-health science colleges. The acceptance rate of COVID-19 vaccine among study participants was 56.3%, exacerbated by worries regarding unforeseen problems (65.5%, 306), general mis-trust (47.3%, 221) and unforeseen impacts (35.1%, 164). The average knowledge score was 60.1%, with 142 (30.4%) having poor knowledge, 127 (27.2%) acceptable knowledge and 198 (42.4%) good knowledge. There were common misconceptions about symptoms including nausea and diarrhoea, as well as the route of transmission, with half believing antibiotics are effective treatment. Conclusion: There was variable knowledge of COVID-19 among students. Misconceptions need addressing going forward. To enhance COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the country and world-wide, health education targeting diverse sociodemographic categories should be prioritized.
- Ajman University
- University student