Volume 2022 Number 2
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


The hesitancy in taking COVID-19 vaccines is a complex process influenced by several factors, including individual, social, and cultural. Health literacy and community awareness around mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are critical for successfully combating the pandemic. Healthcare professionals, including family physicians and nurses, can help increase community awareness and mitigate some misconceptions and hesitancy regarding mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in people's attitudes. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to explore how the interaction between an individual's social identities such as gender, ethnicity, culture, knowledge, and belief impact their hesitancy and attitudes toward mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. We aimed to describe our experience in dealing with people residing in Qatar from the perspective of healthcare practitioners from the Qatar University Health Center during the period when mRNA COVID-19 vaccines was introduced in a time frame of 6 months (April to October, 2021).

We identified several factors associated with the reluctance to receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines once vaccination services were available, affordable, and accessible to everyone in Qatar (Table 1). Most individuals were hesitant and refused to take mRNA COVID-19 vaccines owing to the unjustified myths and fear about potential side effects of vaccines in general and unknown long-term effects of vaccination, especially among women who were uneducated. We believe we have been able to put forth a fair, unbiased, and balanced argument between an individual's right to take or refuse the vaccine and the overall benefits to the public and community health in terms of the overall community immunity when the vast majority of the population will be vaccinated. Our experience could assist in developing culturally sensitive and tailored community outreach programs to increase community awareness as it is the cornerstone on which public health can fight the irrational myths, fear, misconceptions, vaccine hesitancy, and improve vaccination coverages. Moreover, our shared experiences might be able to better prepare future launching of pandemic vaccination campaigns in order to minimize vaccine hesitancy.


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Keyword(s): hesitancymRNA COVID-19 vaccines and Qatar
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