Acceptance and Risk Perception of COVID-19 Vaccination among Pregnant and Non Pregnant Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cross-Sectional Matched-Sample Study

Onyekachukwu M Amiebenomo, Uchechukwu L Osuagwu, Esther Awazzi Envuladu, Chundung Asabe Miner, Khathutshelo P Mashige, Godwin Ovenseri-Ogbomo, Emmanuel Kwasi Abu, Chikasirimobi Goodhope Timothy, Bernadine N Ekpenyong, Raymond Langsi, Richard Oloruntoba, Piwuna Christopher Goson, Deborah Donald Charwe, Tanko Ishaya, Kingsley E Agho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to evaluate the acceptance and risk perception of pregnant and non pregnant women towards COVID-19 vaccines using a cross-sectional matched-sample study approach. A web-based questionnaire with closed- and open-ended questions was administered to adults older than 18 years in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region. Respondents ( n = 131) were grouped based on their pregnancy status (54 pregnant and 77 non pregnant women) and matched for comparison by age. The matched groups were compared using the chi-square test and the t-test where appropriate. Compared to non pregnant women, pregnant women reported significantly lower risk perception scores of COVID-19 infection (3.74 vs. 5.78, p < 0.001) and were less likely to take the COVID-19 vaccine (odds ratio = 0.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06-0.27, p < 0.001). A similar proportion of pregnant and non pregnant women believed in false information about the COVID-19 vaccine, and 40% of unvaccinated pregnant women ( n = 40) were concerned about the safety of the vaccine. After adjustment, women's education, marital status, belief in misconceptions and risk perception were associated with non-vaccination among pregnant women. The content analysis revealed that pregnant women refused the vaccine due to mistrust of their countries' health systems, concerns about the country where the vaccines were manufactured and a lack of confidence in the production process of the vaccines. This study shows the poor acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines among pregnant women in SSA, who perceived a lower risk of COVID-19 infection. Understanding the reasons for non-acceptance and the motivation to accept the COVID-19 vaccine could guide the development of health education and promotion programmes, and aid governments and policymakers in implementing targeted policy changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2023


  • Pregnancy
  • misconception
  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Acceptance
  • Risk perception
  • sub-Saharan Africa


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