Awareness and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine and associated factors among pharmacy students in Zambia

Steward Mudenda1*, Moses Mukosha1, Christabel Nang’andu Hikaambo1, Johanna Catharina Meyer2, Joseph Fadare3,4, Martin Kampamba1, Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia1, Sody Munsaka5, Roland Nnaemeka Okoro6, Victor Daka7, Misheck Chileshe8, Ruth Lindizyani Mfune7, Webrod Mufwambi1, Bwalya Angel Witika9, Brian Godman2,10,11

  1. University of Zambia, School of Health Sciences, Department of Pharmacy, Lusaka, Zambia
  2. Division of Public Health Pharmacy and Management, School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
  3. Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
  4. Department of Medicine, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
  5. University of Zambia, School of Health Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Lusaka, Zambia
  6. Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Administration, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  7. Copperbelt University, Michael Chilufya Sata School of Medicine, Ndola, Zambia
  8. MaryBegg Health Services, Ndola, Zambia
  9. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, Pretoria, South Africa
  10. Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  11. Centre of Medical and Bio allied Health Sciences Research, Ajman University, United Arab Emirates

*Corresponding Author: Steward Mudenda; E-mail:


This study aimed to assess the awareness and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines and associated factors among pharmacy students in Zambia.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study among 326 undergraduate pharmacy students in Lusaka, Zambia, from February to April 2021. Data were analysed using Stata version 16.1. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine key factors influencing vaccine acceptance.
Of the 326 participants, 98.8% were aware of the COVID-19 vaccines, but only 24.5% would accept vaccination. Compared to other religions, being of Christian faith was associated with reduced odds of awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine (aOR=0.01, 95% CI: 0.01-0.20). Conversely, factors associated with vaccine acceptance were being male, single and unemployed. Compared to females, male respondents were 86% more likely to accept the vaccine if it was made available (aOR=1.86, 95% CI: 1.10-3.14). In addition, unmarried respondents were 2.65 times as likely to accept vaccination than married respondents (aOR=2.65, 95% CI: 1.06-6.63). Conversely, unemployed respondents were less likely to accept vaccination than their employed counterparts (aOR=0.32, 95% CI: 0.16-0.46). Barriers to the acceptability of the vaccine were possible side effects (78.5%) and scepticism about its effectiveness (10.2%).
There was significant vaccine hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines among Zambian pharmacy students despite their awareness of the vaccines. Health authorities must work collaboratively with training institutions to mitigate vaccine hesitancy, especially with healthcare students being a key part of the future healthcare workforce overseeing disease prevention strategies

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