Community Awareness and Perception Regarding Vaccination against COVID-19, Concerns about Side Effects in Gezira State, Sudan

Asaad MA. Babker, Sarah Elsiddig Dafallah, Hala Elsir Khair, Rania Saad Suliman, Yousif Mohammed Elmosaad, Abdullah A. Alqasem, Mohammed Ageeli Hakami, Alhomidi Almotiri, Hisham Ali Waggiallah

For citation: Babker AMA, Dafallah SE, Khair HE, Suliman RS, Elmosaad YM, Alqasem AA, Hakami MA, Almotiri A, Waggiallah HA. Community Awareness and Perception Regarding Vaccination against COVID-19, Concerns about Side Effects in Gezira State, Sudan. International Journal of Biomedicine. 2024;14(2):312-318. doi:10.21103/Article14(2)_OA13
Originally published June 5, 2024


Introduction: Vaccine hesitancy is undermining individual and community protection from vaccine-preventable diseases. This study aimed to investigate the level of awareness and perception of the COVID-19 vaccine and its determinants among people in Wad Madani City, Gezira State, as well as its known side effects.
Methods and Results: This cross-sectional, descriptive, and correlative study included 400 participants (56.8% females and 43.2% males) who visited Wad Madani neighborhood COVID-19 centers during the data collection period (June 2022). The data was collected using a structured questionnaire based on prior published studies. Approximately 93.0% of the participants knew the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines, 84.8% knew about their effectiveness, and 83.8% knew that the vaccines help to reduce the risk of virus infection. However, only 58.0% were vaccinated against COVID-19. The results showed that 56.8% of the participants did not develop side effects. Among those who did, the most common side effects were headache and fever (10.2%), injection site pain (7.9%), myalgia (7.1%), and chills and swelling (5.6%). The results showed that 52.5% had negative perceptions of the COVID-19 vaccines.  Urban residents were 2.17 times more likely to have a positive perception of the COVID-19 vaccine than rural residents (P=0.05). Furthermore, study participants with nuclear family type have shown a positive attitude toward the COVID-19 vaccines and were 2.32 times more likely to have had a positive attitude than participants with extended family (P=0.036). Moreover, participants not vaccinated were found to be less likely to have had a positive attitude toward the COVID-19 vaccine, when compared with vaccinated participants (P= 0.005).
Conclusion: Although society is aware of the need for COVID-19 immunization, the community has a low positive perception toward COVID-19 vaccination. Similarly, people in rural areas are less aware of the significance of immunization. Local health officials must collaborate to address public fears about vaccinations through the media.

COVID-19 • vaccination • hesitancy • awareness • perception
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Received March 4, 2024.
Accepted April 13, 2024.
©2024 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.