Background With the effort of the World Health Organization to start distributing an experimental Ebola vaccine in West Africa, there is need to assess knowledge and willingness to participate in Ebola virus vaccine trials (EBVT) and possible barriers to participation.
Methods From June to November 2015, a structured questionnaire was used to measure the participants' knowledge and attitudes about Ebola virus vaccine in Nigeria. Data were analysed with packages within SPSS software and p< 0.05 considered significant.
Results A total of 5000 participants aged 18–49 years were involved; mean age was 37 years; 3218 (64.4%) were female and 1782 (35.6%) male. Willingness to participate in Ebola virus vaccine trials was found in 803 (16.1%) in this population. It was higher in men than women (p=0.001), increased with education levels (p=0.003), higher among employed than unemployed (p=0.005) and higher among single than married (p=0.01). Those who wanted to participate were primarily youth and reasons for readiness to participate include: free health care, monetary gain, international connection and employment opportunity. Decreased willingness was associated with concerns about: fear of reverting back, side effect, refusal of spouses, physical harm, use of parenteral route for vaccine administration, multiple doses of vaccines and societal stigmatisation.
Conclusions This study showed reduced willingness to participate in EBVT. It also revealed limited knowledge about EBVT in Nigeria. Therefore, there is a need for proper education on the potential role of preventive Ebola virus vaccines in the control of epidemics and the importance of vaccination among the populace of Nigeria. Incentives for would-be subjects should also be part of the planning to encourage greater participation in these trials.
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