COVID-19 Pandemic Vaccine Uptake, Hesitancy, and Myths: The Worldview of Older Ghanaian Adults
The study sought to investigate COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, uptake and hesitancy including the myth(s) militating against COVID-19 vaccine uptake among older Ghanaian people. There is the need to ascertain the emergent COVID-19 vaccine acceptance challenge and ways of addressing them. The paper utilizes the phenomenological method to investigate the lived experiences of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that vaccine uptake acceptance and hesitancy are induced by a myriad of factors. Similarly, specific attitudes are fostered by voluntary acceptance and administration protocols. Most often vaccines are disproportionately distributed leading to shortages in certain areas with large numbers of people, inoculators not at designated posts, inadequacy or flaws may be responsible for the inability of those who are prepared to be inoculated in the designated areas to be inoculated, missed inoculation timing, systemic challenges, vaccine uptake hesitancy. Two (2) distinct vaccine uptake pathways pertain in the context of this paper. These pathways are structured around adherence and compliance with inoculation regimes in Ghana, or non-compliance to the same due to diverse COVID-19 pandemic misinformation and/or myths. Five distinct myths pertaining to the coronavirus vaccine were discovered, namely the preservation of older people’s
lives for wisdom; vaccine is constituted by protein taken from deceased fetuses; the vaccine does not offer 100% immunity from coronavirus infection; there is the notion that inoculated persons will die in two (2) years of vaccine uptake; finally, hearing of discouraging stories/information impeded vaccine acceptance and the associated uptake. Collectively, these precipitate among older persons feelings of powerlessness and social disintegration which promote a fear of vaccine uptake acceptance, which restricts social participation.