Abdulmuminu Isah and Chukwuemeka Michael Ubaka
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 410001, Enugu State, Nigeria
Correspondence: Abdulmuminu Isah (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Without a cure, vaccination is the most reliable means of combating COVID-19 pandemic, since non-pharmacological measures could not prevent its spread, as evidenced in the emergence of a second wave. This study assessed the readiness of pharmacists to receive, recommend and administer COVID-19 vaccines to clients in Nigeria.
This was a cross-sectional study in which responses were collected from pharmacists in Nigeria through Google Form link. A 21-item questionnaire was developed and validated for the study. The link was shared on the WhatsApp groups of eligible respondents. The response was downloaded into Microsoft Excel (2019) and cleared of errors. This was uploaded into KwikTables (Beta Version 2021) for data analysis. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used to describe the data. Chi-squared test was used to determine the relationship between all the responses and the practice areas of the pharmacists.
A total of 509 pharmacists responded to the study, but 507 indicated their areas of practice. The highest response of 247(48.7%) was obtained from hospital pharmacists, then community pharmacists; 157(31.0%). Hospital and community pharmacists accounted for 96 and 66 of the 191(37.7%) pharmacists that would probably accept the vaccine (p=0.126). The Pfizer-bioNTech vaccine was the preferred brand for 275(54.2%) respondents. Healthcare Professionals>Elderly>General Populace>Children was the order of roll-out recommended by 317(62.5%). Adverse-effect-following-immunization was the concern of 330(65.1%) pharmacists. Age was a factor in their likelihood of recommending the COVID-19 vaccine to clients (p=0.001).
This study established that most pharmacists are willing to accept to be vaccinated against COVID-19, recommend and administer it to other citizens. They were impressed by the effectiveness and cost of some of the vaccines, but were concerned about their possible adverse effects. The pharmacists would want the authorities to consider strategies that will make the vaccines accessible to all citizens.
Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine, hesitancy, Pharmacists, recommend, vaccination, virus