COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance in the Democratic Republic of Congo: A Cross-Sectional Survey
The study investigated the level of willingness for COVID-19 vaccination in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Data were collected between 24 August 2020 and 8 September 2020 through an online survey. A total of 4131 responses were included; mean age of respondents was 35 years (standard deviation: 11.5); 68.4% were females; 71% had elementary or secondary school education. One fourth (24.1%) were convinced that COVID-19 did not exist. Overall, 2310 (55.9%) indicated they were willing to be vaccinated. In a multivariable regression model, belonging to the middle and high-income category (OR = 1.85, CI: 1.46–2.35 and OR = 2.91, CI: 2.15–3.93, respectively), being tested for COVID-19 (OR = 4.71, CI: 3.62–6.12; p < 0.001), COVID-19 community vaccine acceptance (OR = 14.45, CI: 2.91–71.65; p = 0.001) and acknowledging the existence of COVID-19 (OR = 6.04, CI: 4.42–8.23; p < 0.001) were associated with an increased willingness to be vaccinated. Being a healthcare worker was associated with a decreased willingness for vaccination (OR = 0.46, CI: 0.36–0.58; p < 0.001). In conclusion, the current willingness for COVID-19 vaccination among citizens of the DRC is too low to dramatically decrease community transmission. Of great concern is the low intention of immunization among healthcare workers. A large sensitization campaign will be needed to increase COVID-19 vaccine acceptance.