COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and perceived risk among pregnant and non-pregnant adults in Cameroon, Africa

Academic Article


  • Background The public health response to the global COVID-19 pandemic has varied widely by region. In Africa, uptake of effective COVID-19 vaccines has been limited by accessibility and vaccine hesitancy. The aim of this study was to compare perceptions of COVID-19 infection and vaccination between pregnant women and non-pregnant adults in four regions of Cameroon, located in Central Africa. Methods A cross-sectional survey study was conducted at urban and suburban hospital facilities in Cameroon. Participants were randomly selected from a convenience sample of adult pregnant and non-pregnant adults in outpatient clinical settings between June 1st and July 14th, 2021. A confidential survey was administered in person by trained research nurses after obtaining written informed consent. Participants were asked about self-reported sociodemographics, medical comorbidities, perceptions of COVID-19 infection, and vaccination. Descriptive statistics were used for survey responses and univariate and multivariable logistic regression models were created to explore factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine acceptability. Results Fewer than one-third of participants were interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (31%, 257/835) and rates did not differ by pregnancy status. Overall, 43% of participants doubted vaccine efficacy, and 85% stated that the vaccine available in Africa was less effective than vaccine available in Europe. Factors independently associated with vaccine acceptability included having children (aOR = 1.5; p = 0.04) and higher education (aOR = 1.6 for secondary school vs primary/none; p = 0.03). Perceived risks of vaccination ranged from death (33%) to fetal harm (31%) to genetic changes (1%). Health care professionals were cited as the most trusted source for health information (82%, n = 681). Conclusion COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and misinformation in Cameroon was highly prevalent among pregnant and non-pregnant adults in 2021 while vaccine was available but not recommended for use in pregnancy. Based on study findings, consistent public health messaging from medical professionals about vaccine safety and efficacy and local production of vaccine are likely to improve acceptability.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 25154933
  • Author List

  • Gunawardhana N; Baecher K; Boutwell A; Pekwarake S; Kifem M; Ngong MG; Fondzeyuf A; Halle-Ekane G; Mbah R; Tih P
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 9 September