Exploring vaccine hesitancy among healthcare providers in the United Arab Emirates: a qualitative study

Iffat Elbarazi, Sania Al-Hamad, Salma Alfalasi, Ruwaya Aldhaheri, Eve Dubé, Ahmed R. Alsuwaidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Healthcare providers (HCPs) are at the frontline to curb the spread of vaccine hesitancy in the community. However, HCPs themselves may delay or refuse vaccines. In light of the emerging vaccine hesitancy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), we aimed to explore HCPs doubts and concerns regarding vaccination. We conducted face-to-face interviews with 33 HCPs from 7 ambulatory healthcare services in the Al Ain region, UAE. An interview guide was developed based on the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control guide for vaccine hesitancy among HCPs. An inductive thematic framework was employed to explore the main and emerging themes conceptualizing the predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors that influence HCPs’ hesitancy regarding vaccinations for themselves and while recommending, prescribing, or discussing vaccines with their patients. The sample included general practitioners, family physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other administrative staff. The major themes included positive predisposing factors such as trust in the system and the government, previous education, and social responsibility. Positive enabling factors included affordability and availability of vaccination services. Many participants were hesitant to receive the mandatory influenza vaccination. Misinformation regarding vaccines on social media was a major concern. However, HCPs showed little interest in being active on social media. Most participants reported never receiving any training on how to address vaccine hesitancy among patients. Because HCPs play an important role in influencing patients’ decisions regarding undergoing vaccination, their confidence in addressing vaccine hesitancy must be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2018-2025
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Healthcare workers
  • United Arab Emirates
  • influenza vaccine
  • social media
  • vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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