COVID-19 Vaccination Awareness among Dental Surgeons at a Tertiary Care Hospital
Introduction: Expedition of mass vaccination scheme is the only way to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare professionals have a key role in shaping public opinion about vaccines and are at a higher risk of being infected. Especially dentists, perform duties not only in close contact but with aerosol and droplets that come out of a patient’s oral cavity.
Objective: To appraise the awareness concerning COVID-19 vaccination among dental surgeons and explore the potential drivers for their acceptance levels. These particulars are crucial for formulating new schemes and policies to cope with such emergency situations in near future.
Study design: Online cross-sectional study
Setting and duration: Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faisalabad Medical University, Faisalabad. May 2021 to June 2021.
Materials and methods: A self-organized questionnaire was conducted among 250 dentists. The questionnaire was designed in the manner to access their knowledge, attitude and perception regarding COVID-19 vaccination. The questionnaire contains a set of 20 questions. The questionnaire was distributed through an online survey link. The results were obtained and statistically analyzed through SPSS software and results were presented in percentages and frequencies.
Results: We analyzed 216 questionnaires completed by dental surgeons (male: 35.6%; female: 64.5%). Of the participants 80.5% considered that COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and 62% believe that it does not cause long term health problems.72% considered the overdose of vaccination to be harmful whereas 88% agreed upon importance of vaccine for protection of people and were willing to recommend vaccine for relatives and friends. 63% participants consider pharmaceutical companies are developing safe vaccines and just over half of the participants consider Pak-Vac vaccine to be safe. Finally, 78.7% respondents were satisfied on government strategies regarding COVID-19 vaccination and 95% think that government should provide COVID-19 vaccination for all citizens free of cost.
Conclusion: The current study declares meager knowledge but more definite attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccinations among dental surgeons at a tertiary care setup. The conclusion suggest that health education programs and more precise information should be delivered and publicized by respective health authorities to abolish the vaccine hesitancy.