Reducing Barriers to COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake: Community Ideas from Urban and Rural Kenya

Ahmed Asa’ad Al-Aghbari, Violet Naanyu, Stanley Luchters, Eunice Irungu, Kawthar Baalawy, Till Bärnighausen, Joy Mauti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines, addressing vaccine hesitancy and optimizing uptake have emerged as critical challenges, emphasizing the importance of reducing barriers toward COVID-19 vaccination. This study investigates ideas on ways to reduce barriers to COVID-19 vaccination uptake. It explores methods that can overcome COVID-19 vaccination barriers through qualitative research: interviews and group discussions involving healthcare providers, administration personnel, teachers, and individuals with chronic conditions across urban (Mombasa) and rural (Kilifi) Kenya. Audio-recorded discussions were transcribed and thematically analyzed across locations. Five themes emerged in our results regarding the reduction in barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in the context of Kenya, including awareness campaigns, engaging diverse stakeholders, using various communication techniques, capacity building to increase vaccination centers and trained staff, and lastly, revising relevant government health policies and guidelines. These results indicate the importance of adopting multiple approaches, as no single strategy can boost vaccine acceptance. Moreover, this study provides recommendations for conceiving actionable interventions to potentially boost vaccine demand and maintain routine immunization in Kenya.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7093
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Kenya
  • health misinformation
  • reduction in barriers to vaccination
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine uptake

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