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Estimating vaccine confidence levels among healthcare students and staff of a tertiary institution in South Africa: protocol of a cross-sectional survey
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  • Published on:
    Re: Enabling healthcare staff to improve vaccine uptake

    Dear Dr. Walid Al-Wali et al,
    Thank you for interest in our work, particularly for your comments on the published protocol titled: Estimating the vaccine confidence levels among healthcare students and staff of a tertiary institution in South Africa.
    As you rightly observed, and as stated in the article, the study population is healthcare students and staff of a tertiary institution in South Africa. In this particular setting (a medical campus) a significant number of medical students in their senior years as well as staff have direct dealings with, and exposure to patients in the adjacent teaching hospital as part of their studies and routine duties. These, therefore, were considered as part of the frontline healthcare workers that were prioritized for the receipt of the COVID 19 vaccines, the roll-out of which at the time of the design of our study, was imminent. One of the main aims of our study was to investigate the intention to receive a COVID 19 vaccine when one becomes available. This cogent reason makes the population described above ideal for our study.
    Moreover, the selected study population is relevant to gaining some insight on the probable vaccine sentiments of future healthcare workers, identifying any issues of concern and planning how to mitigate them, and gauging how well they might likely advocate for vaccine acceptance. The representability of the current population views (though they are part of the larger population and possibly part...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Enabling healthcare staff to improve vaccine uptake
    • Walid Al-Wali, Senior Consultant Medical Microbiologist and Vice-Chair for Clinical Pathology Al-Wakra Hospital, the Hamad Medical Corporation, Al-Wakra , State of Qatar
    • Other Contributors:
      • Masautso Chaponda, Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases
      • Adila Shaukat Ali Kashaf, Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases

    We have read the proposed vaccine study with interest and wish to make the following comments;
    It is worth noting that the study population is specifically focused on students and their trainers. Depending on the setting these will not have had direct involvement in the management, logistics and overall governance of vaccine administration let alone managing daily vaccine queries from staff and the public. Therefore , there is a limitation as to how their views reflect current feelings, attitudes, practices and gaps in knowledge. However, as the main aim is to look towards future vaccines and building healthcare knowledge and engagement then studying this population makes it relevant and identifies gaps that will need to be addressed in future. This then should assist in placing healthcare workers in a better position in order to enable them to improve vaccine uptake . A key question might be what are the things that will make them confident in a vaccine and furthermore to be prepared to take it .

    Furthermore, this population may also be more familiar with multiple social media platforms that the public and " vaccine sceptics “ have used. They are , therefore an ideal group to interface with the public as their communication platform is relevant and likely to reach beyond the noticeboards and publications that current interventions or communications have utilized.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.