Vaccine hesitancy and its determinants among Arab parents: a cross-sectional survey in the United Arab Emirates

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Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a leading threat to public health. It has been studied extensively in North America and Europe but much less in Arab countries. The Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines (PACV) survey is a validated tool for identifying vaccine-hesitant parents; however, Arabic version is not available. This study aimed to assess the reliability of the PACV survey in the Arabic language and to determine the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy among parents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods Forward and backward translation of the PACV in the Arabic language was carried out. The reliability of the Arabic-PACV survey was tested among parents with children. The same survey was used to study vaccine hesitancy among parents attending seven ambulatory health-care services in Al-Ain city, UAE. The associations between vaccine hesitancy and socio-demographic characteristics were explored. Results: The Cronbach alpha for Arabic-PACV scores was 0.79. Three hundred participants answered the survey (response rate, 85.7%). The majority were Emirati mothers (77%) in the age group (30–49 years). Only 36 parents (12%, 95% CI 8.5,16.2) were found to be vaccine-hesitant. Parent’s greatest concerns were mainly the side effects (35%), safety of vaccines (17% unsure and 28% concerned) and getting too many injections (28%). Divorced marital status was significantly associated with vaccine hesitancy (p < .001). Conclusion: The Arabic-PACV survey could serve as a tool in the evaluation of vaccine hesitancy among parents in UAE and other Arabic-speaking countries. Many parents in our community were concerned about the vaccine safety. Targeted preventive measures are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3163-3169
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • PACV
  • UAE
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccine safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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