Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards SARS-CoV-2 vaccination among morbid obese individuals: a pilot study

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Matteo Riccò
Marina Valente
Giorgio Dalmonte
Federico Marchesi
Simona Peruzzi
Lucia Ballabeni
Concetta Prioriello


Italy, Vaccines, SARS-CoV-2, Bariatric Surgery, Knowledge attitudes practices, health belief model


Background and aim. Vaccinations have dramatically impacted on the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As morbid obese (MO) individuals are at high risk for severe complications, their acceptance of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is of certain public health interest.

Methods. We investigated the knowledge, attitudes and eventual acceptance of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccination among MO individuals either in waiting list, or recipients of bariatric surgery from a reference center (Parma University Hospital) shortly before the inception of the Italian mass vaccination campaign (March 2021). Data were collected through a web-based questionnaire. Association of individual factors with acceptance of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was assessed by means of a logistic regression analysis with eventual calculation of adjusted Odds Ratios (aOR) and corresponding 95% Confidence Intervals (95%CI).

Results. Adequate, general knowledge of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 was found in the majority of MO patients. High perception of SARS-CoV-2 risk was found in around 80% of participants (79.2% regarding its occurrence, 73.6% regarding its potential severity). Acceptance of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccination was reported by 65.3% of participants, and was more likely endorsed by MO patients who were likely to accept some sort of payment/copayment (aOR 5.783; 1.426; 23.456), or who were more likely towards a vaccination mandate (aOR 7.920; 1.995; 31.444).

Conclusions. Around one third of the MO individuals among potential recipient of bariatric surgery exhibited some significant hesitancy towards SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, and a rational approach may fail to capture and address specific barriers/motivators in this subset of individuals, stressing the importance for alternative interventions. (


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