Exploring enablers and barriers toward COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among Arabs: A qualitative study

Iffat Elbarazi, Mohamed Yacoub, Omar Ahmed Reyad, Marwa Shawky Abdou, Yasir Ahmed Mohammed Elhadi, Khalid A. Kheirallah, Bayan F. Ababneh, Bayan Abu Hamada, Haider M. El Saeh, Nancy Ali, Azhar T. Rahma, Mohamed Mostafa Tahoun, Ramy Mohamed Ghazy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: With the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and rapid vaccine development, research interest in vaccine hesitancy (VH) has increased. Research usually focuses on quantitative estimates which largely neglected the qualitative underpinnings of this phenomenon. This study aimed to explore the beliefs and views towards COVID-19 vaccination among Arabs in different countries. Furthermore, we explored the effect of confidence in the healthcare system, misinformation, and scientific approaches adopted to mitigate COVID-19 on how individuals are following the recommended preventative actions including vaccination. Methods: This study was based on the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE)-VH Model: A qualitative design that utilized in-depth, online interviews. The study was conducted in seven Arab countries (Egypt, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Jordan) from June 2020 to December 2021. Transcripts were analyzed using NVivo 12 Software. Results: A total of 100 participants, 44 males and 56 females, of different age groups (37.1 ± 11.56 years) were interviewed. Findings revealed six themes as enablers and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. Many participants indicated trusting the vaccines, the healthcare systems, and the vaccination policies were the main driver to get the vaccine. Participants showed concerns towards potential long-term vaccine effects. A consistent inclination towards collective responsibility, which is the willingness to protect others by own vaccination, was also reported. Conclusion: Enablers and barriers of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance in the Arab region, from sociocultural and political perspectives, are critical to guide policymakers in designing target-oriented interventions that can improve vaccine acceptance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103304
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Arab Countries
  • COVID-19
  • Qualitative
  • SAGE
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccine acceptance
  • Vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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