Background: People living with HIV (PLHIV) are at increased risk of COVID-19 acquisition, severe disease, and poor outcomes. Yet, little is known about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among PLHIV in high HIV burden countries, such as Nigeria.
Objective: This study aims to assess the acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine and identify predictors and reasons for vaccine hesitancy among patients living with HIV and attending a tertiary hospital in Kano, northern Nigeria.
Methods: Using a mixed-methods design, structured questionnaires were administered to a clinic- based sample of patients living with HIV (n = 344), followed by 20 in-depth interviews with a sub-sample. Logistic regression and the framework approach were used to analyze the data.
Results: Less than half (46.2 %, n = 159) of the respondents were willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine acceptance was higher among non-Muslim PLHIV (Adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) = 1.26, 95 % Confidence Interval (95 % CI): 1.10-4.00), persons with high-risk perception (aOR = 2.43, 95 % CI:1.18-5.00), those who were not worried about infertility-related rumors (aOR = 13.54, 95 % CI:7.07-25.94) and persons who perceived antiretroviral drugs are protective against COVID-19 (aOR = 2.76, 95 % CI: 1.48-5.14). In contrast, vaccine acceptance was lower among persons who were not concerned about the potential effects of COVID-19-HIV co-infection (aOR = 0.20, 95 % CI:0.10-0.39). The most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy included doubts about the existence of COVID-19, low-risk perception, anxiety about antiretroviral treatmentvaccine interactions, safety concerns, and infertility-related rumors.
Conclusion: Covid-19 vaccine acceptance was low among PLHIV. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was associated with respondents’ faith, risk perception, perception of the protective effects of antiretroviral treatment, concerns about COVID-19-HIV co-infection, and infertility-related rumors. Vaccination counseling should be integrated into HIV treatment services to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake among PLHIV in Kano, Nigeria and similar settings.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(20)30305-2] [PMID: 33316211]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/aid.2020.0284] [PMID: 33599163]