The Norwegian Refugee Council and American University of Beirut have expanded their study that tracked the adherence of Syrian refugees in Lebanon COVID-19 to understand vaccine hesitancy among this population. In April 2021 they published their preliminary findings and have now shared the final results of the longitudinal survey in their first-placed poster submitted to the Social Medicine and Population Health Conference. The poster outlines that 31% of those surveyed has no intention to be vaccinated, and 7% were undecided. Moreover only 6% were registered on the national platform to receive the COVID vaccine.
Predictors of vaccine refusal included female gender, not adhering to COVID-19 preventative measures, and perceiving the vaccine as not safe. Accurate, accessible, and culturally appropriate information about vaccine safety and effectiveness must be disseminated to address vaccine hesitancy, and barriers to registration for the vaccine must be removed. Delivery of immunisation services to older refugees is paramount, particularly since Syrian refugees in Lebanon experience security, mobility, and healthcare access barriers.
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