Document Type : Original Article



BACKGROUND: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the release of the COVID (Corona Virus
Disease)‑19 vaccine was highly anticipated. Nevertheless, vaccine availability does not symbolize the
end of pandemic due to ongoing vaccine hesitancy and anti‑vaccination movements. The objective
of this study is to evaluate COVID‑19 vaccine acceptance among pregnant and lactating individuals
in Maharashtra state, India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A descriptive cross‑sectional study was conducted via a hybrid
approach using various digital portals such as Whatsapp, telegram, and physical distribution to those
who did not have access to smartphone devices. A probability proportional sampling strategy was
deployed. A pre‑validated structured self‑administered questionnaire tool designed by Freeman et al.
2020 (Oxford COVID‑19 vaccine hesitancy scale) was used, which consisted of seven close‑ended
targeted and focused questions. Analysis of several survey items and vaccine acceptance was
conducted using the Chi‑square test.
RESULTS: Analysis revealed that 58% of individuals were willing to take vaccines after government
approval and 26% of individuals showed hesitancy toward vaccination. When compared, lactating
individuals showed less vaccine hesitancy (22%) than pregnant individuals (27%). The maximum
vaccine hesitancy was observed in the third trimester of pregnancy (29.5%).
CONCLUSIONS: Trust in vaccines is a crucial factor and is dependent on the ability of the government
in promoting vaccines through effective communication; this can be one of the reasons for the high
level of acceptance and awareness toward COVID‑19 vaccination in this study.


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