The conundrum of new coronavirus variants and poor uptake of booster dose: building a narrative against vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan


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Mubarak N., Rana F. R., Khan A. M., Kanwal S., Tariq S., Tariq S.

Journal of University Medical and Dental College, vol.13, no.3, 2022 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.37723/jumdc.v13i3.762
  • Journal Name: Journal of University Medical and Dental College
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Asia, Booster dose hesitancy, Conspiracy theories, COVID-19 pandemic, Misinformation, Pakistan, Social media, Vaccine hesitancy
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No

Abstract

Background: As of 5 August 2022, the ongoing battle against COVID-19 pandemic has resulted 579 million confirmed cases and more than 6.4 million deaths worldwide[1]. With emergence of new variants, the pandemic continues to haunt individuals as well as societies. We expect many new anti-viral treatments in the year three of the pandemic, however, the vaccines remain one of the most effective public health intervention to prevent hospitalization and deaths. Nevertheless, to achieve long-term protection in the form of herd or population immunity, 75-90% of the population should receive a complete course of vaccination[2]. However, not all people accept vaccines and there exists a substantial population that remains against the whole concept of vaccination leading to the social phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy. Although the supply of vaccines was optimal in the last quarter of 2021, low & middle income countries will remain under-vaccinated for much of 2022, due to the major hindrance posed by the rampant vaccine hesitancy. This situation may lead to higher mortality and morbidity rates and weaker economic recoveries[3].