COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance, Barriers and Facilitators among Healthcare Workers in Pakistan*Corresponding Author:
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Background: Vaccines are one of the main cornerstones in the global initiatives to control the COVID-19 pandemic. National vaccination programs largely depend on vaccine availability and acceptance by a large proportion of the population to confer a measurable impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission. In this study we determine the acceptance, barriers and facilitators of COVID-19 vaccination amongst healthcare workers (HCWs) in Pakistan. Methods: A structured and validated questionnaire was used in an online cross-sectional study. Health care workers residing in Pakistan were invited between 31st January to 9th February to participate in this survey. Results: A total of 436 health-care workers took part in this survey and among those 327 (75%) were doctors. 260 (60%) healthcare workers indicated that they would accept vaccination against COVID-19. 308 (71%) were completely confident or confident in using USA, UK manufactured COVID-19 vaccine. The acceptance concerning a potential Chinese vaccine was 267 (61%). 292 (67%) strongly agreed or agreed that they are concerned about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination while the concerns for safety were 293 (67%). Conclusions: About a third of HCWs, a group generally biased towards early acceptance of health interventions – expressed concerns or refusal of vaccination against COVID-19 in this survey. A dedicated communication plan and information campaign addressing the issues of efficacy, quality, logistics and religious concerns is needed to address these hurdles to allow for a successful national vaccination campaign.