Low-levels of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Towards Vaccination and COVID-19 Vaccines Among Health Care Providers, Kazakhstan, 2021

Vaccine preventable diseases
Occupational and environmental health

Background: Annually in Kazakhstan ~5,000 newborns are unvaccinated because of parental hesitancy. Hesitancy has resulted in resurgence of diseases with 16,967 measles cases registered nationally in 2019. Poor knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) among health care providers contribute to vaccine hesitancy. Additional data were needed for developing interventions.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study which included all health care providers directly involved in vaccine administration at 54 facilities in Shymkent, Turkestan, and Aktobe from March–May 2021. We used logistic regression to test association with good KAP; cut-off for good KAP was 70%. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.
Results: We interviewed 1,461 providers: 951 (65%) nurses, 360 (25%) general practitioner (GP), and 150 (10%) pediatricians. Of these providers 93% were females. Their mean age was 36 years old. Among the providers, 622 (43%) had good knowledge, 237 (16%) had good attitudes, and 473 (32%) had good practices. Additionally, 75% agreed that measles vaccines were effective, <49% thought COVID-19 vaccines were effective, and 59% said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine. Good knowledge was associated with being female (OR: 3.1; CI=1.7–6.1), being a GP (OR: 1.7; CI=1.1–2.5), 11–20 years’ work experience (OR: 1.5; CI=1.1–2.4), and >21 years’ work experience (OR: 2.5; CI=1.5–2.0). Good attitude was associated with >21 years’ work experience (OR: 2.7; CI=1.5–4.9). Good practice was associated with not living with people >65 years old (OR: 1.5; CI=1.1–2.0), >21 years’ work experience (OR: 1.5; CI=1.1–2.0). Good knowledge and good practice was associated with good practice (OR: 4.2; CI=3.2–5.6 and OR: 4.2, 2.3 CI=1.8–3.0, respectively).
Conclusions: Our study revealed markedly low levels of KAP among health care providers. Results can be used to improve knowledge and attitudes towards vaccination, with focused effort on providers with less work experience, nurses, and pediatricians.

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