Uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine among healthcare workers in Malawi

Corrina Moucheraud, Khumbo Phiri, Hannah S. Whitehead, John Songo, Eric Lungu, Elijah Chikuse, Sam Phiri, Joep J. van Oosterhout, Risa M. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Little is known about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in Africa. We sought to understand Malawian healthcare workers' (HCWs') COVID-19 vaccination and its hypothesized determinants. METHODS: In March 2021, as the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out commenced in Malawi, we surveyed clinical and lay cadre HCWs (n=400) about their uptake of the vaccine and potential correlates (informed by the WHO Behavioral and Social Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination framework). We analyzed uptake and used adjusted multivariable logistic regression models to explore how 'what people think and feel' constructs were associated with HCWs' motivation to be vaccinated. RESULTS: Of the surveyed HCWs, 82.5% had received the first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Motivation (eagerness to be vaccinated) was strongly associated with confidence in vaccine benefits (adjusted OR [aOR] 9.85, 95% CI 5.50 to 17.61) and with vaccine safety (aOR 4.60, 95% CI 2.92 to 7.23), but not with perceived COVID-19 infection risk (aOR 1.38, 95% CI 0.88 to 2.16). Of all the information sources about COVID-19 vaccination, 37.5% were reportedly negative in tone. CONCLUSIONS: HCWs in Malawi have a high motivation to be vaccinated and a high COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Disseminating vaccine benefits and safety messages via social media and social networks may be persuasive for individuals who are unmotivated to be vaccinated and less likely to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2023


  • COVID-19
  • healthcare workers
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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