Introduction: Public awareness regarding COVID-19 plays an important role in controlling the virus’ spread and treating infected people. A high level of awareness among the public will help to implement preventive measures, particularly in the most populated regions, such as Makkah, Saudi Arabia. COVID-19 is an infectious disease and the Saudi Arabian government has taken serious precautions and implemented several preventive measures. In addition, The Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched many awareness campaigns and provided COVID-19 vaccines for free. The objectives: To assess the Public’s level of health awareness and knowledge toward SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 vaccines among residents of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Makkah region from February 23 to March 2, 2021. The questionnaire was generated using a Google form and distributed online through social platforms such as Twitter and WhatsApp. The questionnaire consisted of five sections and six hundred participants have answered and completed all questions. Then, All data were imported into Microsoft Excel and analyzed using the statistical tools SAS version 9.4 and SPSS version 25 software. Results: A total of 600 participants from the Makkah region were found to have a high level of awareness and knowledge about all aspects of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease. For example, all participants considered coronavirus to be contagious, and 89.8% of them knew that COVID-19’s symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu. Most respondents showed a high level of awareness regarding the main factors of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Over 98.7% of respondents were aware of the role of gatherings and events in further spread of the virus. The participants showed a good level of awareness about other preventive measures, such as maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask. However, the respondents considered COVID-19 vaccines to be effective, but some of them were not aware of their side effects, and 38.8% planned to receive a vaccine. Conclusion: The residents of Makkah showed a high level of awareness about these aspects; an excellent awareness level was noted for SARS-CoV-2, means of transmission, disease symptoms and prevention of viral spread. On the other hand, the participants had less knowledge regarding COVID-19 vaccines; hence, more effort is required to educate people about the safety and benefits of the vaccines.
Fuente: Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health
Available online 16 December 2021, 100935