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Assessment of Online Covid 19 Vaccine Educational Messages on Youth Behavior

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the assessment of online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior in Covenant University. The study employed a survey method. The total population of the study was 133 students, collected from the different departments in the school. This study employed a simple random sampling method to select its sample. The researcher utilized the Taro Yamane formula to evaluate a sample size of 100. The main instrument for data collection used in this study was the self-structured questionnaire. The study employed SPSS 19.0 in analyzing the responses from respondents and the results were presented in tables, frequencies, and percentages. The results of the study revealed a grand mean score of 4.27 which showed that the students in Covenant University had an excellent knowledge of COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccine. The grand mean score of 3.98 showed that the students showed an awareness towards COVID-19 vaccine in Covenant University was excellent.  Also, the grand mean score of 4.08 showed that the attitude of students towards COVID-19 vaccination messages in Covenant University was excellent. Lastly, 73% of the respondents agreed that online messages encourage more vaccination intent. Health communicators hoping to encourage vaccination may be effective by appealing to the use personal and collective health risks of not vaccinating. The study recommended that the health authorities via health care providers, who were identified by the people as the most trust source of information regarding information about COVID-19 vaccines, should design interventions in terms of awareness campaigns via all types of multimedia to spread more transparent information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the study

Health related infections are the major problems of public health in many nations of the world, which ultimately cause an increase in the morbidity, mortality, and additional costs in health care settings (Al-Tawfiq et al., 2020).

In December 2019, there were emergence of some cases of the corona virus that originated in Wuhan City according to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020). The causative pathogen was announced by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) on Jan 08, 2020, to be a novel coronavirus (Caulfield, 2020), lately named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Symptoms range from fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, and shortness of breath. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection (Chavis & Ganesh, 2020; Chen et al, 2020; Deng and Peng, 2020).

As the reality of the coronavirus pandemic dawned on Nigeria, like the rest of the world had begun canceling events, flights, and virtually everything that required social, official, and religious gatherings (Adamu, 2020).

Ending the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic will require unprecedented collective action, on a global, national, and sub-national scale. In addition to social distancing and practicing other prosocial health behaviors (e.g., wearing masks in public places), hundreds of millions of Americans must choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes widely available (Kreps et al., 2020). By some estimates, up to 70 percent of Americans may need to develop antibodies to the disease, either through contracting (and recovering from) the disease and/or through inoculation — in order to put the virus’ spread into decline (Bartsch et al., 2020; Britton et al.,2020; Kwok et al., 2020).

Several preventive measures are being applied during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission (Chou and Budenz, 2020). Vaccination against COVID-19 is expected to be the most efficient preventive measure for limiting the pandemic. Vaccines against SARS- CoV-2 became available at the end of 2020, and healthcare workers (HCWs) were in many countries among the first groups to be vaccinated. The success of a vaccination program depends on the uptake rates among the general population and especially among HCWs, who are important for vaccination advocacy (Logunov et al., 2021). Apart from being at a higher risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 than the general population, HCWs are also potential transmitters of the virus in the clinical setting, where they work with the most susceptible population, i.e., the elderly, and those with certain underlying medical conditions, which require more attention and care (Loomba et al., 2021). Studies have shown that vaccine acceptance and attitudes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are higher among the youth than in the general population, mainly because of a higher perceived risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Cucinotta and Vanelli, 2020). Compliance with preventive measures is influenced by individuals’ attitudes and perceived vulnerability to disease. Also, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic greater compliance with preventive behavior has been found in individuals who experience greater psychological distress, are more anxious, and express greater perceived infectability and germ aversion (Odriozola-González et al., 2020). Vaccination acceptance and vaccination hesitancy are influenced by several factors, such as fear of adverse side effects and vaccine safety, perceived ineffectiveness of vaccine, poor information regarding illness/vaccine, perceived low risk of contracting illness, fear of needles, perceived low severity of illness, etc. (Jiang et al., 2021).

More than 50 vaccines for COVID-19 are either undergoing clinical trials or already approved for limited use in some countries (World Health Organization, 2020). Successful universal vaccination is considered to be the next big step in the fight against the contagion. While China started vaccinating nurses with its vaccine in early July 2020 (Helen, 2020). On December 30, 2020, Singapore became the first in Asia to authorize Tozinameran from Pfizer-BioNTech for use in healthcare workers (Singapore Ministry of Health, 2020). Other countries in Asia plan to follow suit in early 2021. However, vaccination effectiveness depends on the proportion of uptake by the population and hesitancy for receiving the vaccine is a major obstacle to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019 (World Health Organization, 2019).

Research on factors influencing vaccination acceptance and attitudes in cases of influenza, HPV, hepatitis B and other contagious diseases revealed that the knowledge about particular vaccines, their efficacy and safety, helped to build HCWs own confidence in vaccines and their willingness to recommend vaccines to others. The importance of societal endorsement and support from colleagues was also reported (Baden et al., 2021). Therefore, it is important to know HCW’s opinions and vaccination intentions, and to understand how key sociodemographic factors are related to vaccination intentions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The studies on preventive behavior of the youth in the time of the COVID- 19 pandemic have mostly revealed their high level of adherence to preventive measures (Van Bavel et al., 2020). A study in Spain revealed a lack of knowledge of basic measures to prevent the transmission of the virus at both community and hospital levels (Dong et al., 2020). Vaccination intention studies among the youth are scarce. In a study in the US, only 45% the youth intended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (Bell et al., 2020).

Due to the future professional roles of the youth and their position in health care teams, this study aimed to analyze the preventive behaviour, vaccination acceptance and vaccination advocacy of the youth in three European countries, as well as the factors influencing their vaccination intention.

In this modern day, the most common method of passing information is through the use of online media such social media, advertisements, news and so on. Messages concerning the acceptance of Covid-19 vaccination have been passed online though advertisements (Helmy et al., 2020). Online media as a platform of interaction amongst the youth on various aspects including health. So far, the discussion towards Covid-19 and vaccination has garnered a lot of attraction on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and blogs (Lunz Trujillo and Motta, 2020). This has helped in sharing information and gaining intention through the creation of awareness from health professionals and health policy makers (Cohen, 2020). This has proven the impact of online educational messages on youth intention. However, this study assesses the impact of online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior.

1.2       Statement of the problem

The outbreak of corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria has increased the level of tension and anxiety among citizens in the country. The virus unlike other cases we have had in this country is highly transmittable with severe signs and symptoms.

As of December 2020, more than 18 million individuals had been infected with COVID19 in Europe and over a million had died. The pandemic had a serious impact on hospital burden and on the working conditions and mental health of healthcare professionals (HCPs). Yet vaccination was under way, with the first COVID-19 vaccines being evaluated and approved by the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission, and national and international vaccination strategies being developed (Abdallah and Lee, 2021).

Several recent studies have shown that a significant proportion of people are hesitant about COVID-19 vaccination (Callaghan et al., 2020, Thigpen and Funk, 2020, and Havers et al., 2020). The study conducted by Verger et al. (2020) among HCPs in Quebec, France, and Belgium in October and November 2020 showed that 43.8% of the people surveyed would “certainly” take the COVID-19 vaccine, and 28.5% “probably”, which would be below the European Commission’s expectations in terms of vaccination coverage. In the United States, the report by Gharpure et al. (2021) showed that a median of 37.5% of the participating long-term care staff had accepted the first shot of COVID-19 vaccine (between mid-December 2020 and mid-January 2021), demonstrating a low response to the vaccination campaign by these respondents.

There has been a lot of literature on the intentions and behaviour of individuals towards Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria and around the world but there has no available literature on the assessment of online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior. Against the backdrop of this study, the present study therefore focuses on the assessment of online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior in Covenant University.

1.3       Objectives of the study

The main objective of the study is to assess the online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To determine the rate of awareness of youth to covid vaccine.
  2. To determine the extent of knowledge of the youth on covid 19 vaccination.
  3. To determine the attitude of youth to covid 19 vaccination messages.
  4. To determine whether online messages encourage more vaccination intent.

1.4       Research questions

  1. What is the rate of awareness of youth to covid vaccine?
  2. What is the extent of knowledge of the youth on covid 19 vaccination?
  3. What is the attitude of youth to covid 19 vaccination messages?
  4. Do online messages encourage more vaccination intent?

1.5       Justification/ Significance of the study

As healthcare workers continue to remain on the frontline during the current pandemic (Chew et al., 2020; and Tan et al., 2020), countries have prioritized them to be the first to receive the vaccine (Sun et al., 2021). However, there have been increasing reports on hesitancy in receiving the vaccine among the general public in Nigeria (Lazarus et al., 2021).

Given reported reluctance among the global population to receive the vaccine (Lazarus et al., 2021), our findings may have implications for establishing appropriate strategies to improve vaccination compliance among frontline healthcare workers.

Additionally, the result from this research will also help health workers to design relevant, persuasive health messages that will help change the people’s attitude on the acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccination and create more awareness on the situation of health care services in the country.

1.6       Scope of the study

This study was carried out on the assessment of online covid 19 vaccine educational messages on youth behavior. The scope of the study was restricted to students in Covenant University.

1.7       Limitation of the study

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information.

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

 

1.8       Definition of terms

Acceptance: Acceptance is the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered.

Attitude: Attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.

Corona virus disease (COVID-19): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing.

COVID19 vaccine: A COVID‑19 vaccine is a vaccine intended to provide acquired immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19).

Vaccination: Vaccination is the treatment with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease; inoculation.

Vaccine: A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins.

 

REFERENCES

Abdallah, D. A., & Lee, C. M. (2021). Social norms and vaccine uptake: College students’ COVID vaccination intentions, attitudes, and estimated peer norms and comparisons with influenza vaccine. Vaccine39(15), 2060-2067.

Adamu, M. T. (2020) Important Notice Regarding Coronavirus or COVD-1 b9 from Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Gombe State University.

Al-Tawfiq, J.A., Momattin, H., Dib, J., Memish, Z.A., (2020). Ribavirin and interferon therapy in patients infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: an observational study. Int. J. Infect. Dis. 20, 42–46.

Baden, L. R., El Sahly, H. M., Essink, B., Kotloff, K., Frey, S., Novak, R., … & Zaks, T. (2021). Efficacy and safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine384(5), 403-416.

Bartsch, S. M., O’Shea, K. J., Ferguson, M. C., Bottazzi, M. E., Wedlock, P. T., Strych, U., et al. (2020). Vaccine efficacy needed for a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine to prevent or stop an epidemic as the sole intervention. Am. J. Prev. Med. 59 (4), 493–503.

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