Antibiotics (Jun 2022)
Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy in Vietnamese Fish Farmers
(1) Background: Antibiotic (AB) usage in food animals is a significant contributor to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Vaccination can reduce the over-use of AB treatment. Little is known about farmers’ attitudes and beliefs about AB and vaccine usage in developing countries, especially in aquaculture. (2) Methods: We used the necessity/concerns framework to guide our research, where vaccine hesitancy is viewed as a function of the perceived necessity versus the perceived concerns about treatment. We measured disease and treatment perceptions in 400 Vietnamese farmers of Pangasius catfish, specifically regarding (a) chemical treatment of water, (b) antibiotic usage, and (c) vaccination of fish. (3) Results: Although farmers’ concerns about AB usage outweighed necessity beliefs, 86.5% reported having used ABs on their farm. Knowledge and attitudes towards vaccination were positive, with views of its necessity outweighing concerns. However, if available, only 67.6% said they would definitely use vaccines in the future. Farmers were more likely to use vaccines if they reported having fewer problems with fish disease, felt that any concerns about vaccines were outweighed by their perceived benefits, had less mistrust of vaccination, and had fewer concerns about commercial profiteering. (4) Conclusion: Interventions that highlight concerns about continued antibiotic use, reduce concerns, and mistrust and increase the perceived necessity of vaccines combined with greater availability of vaccines may be the most effective way of overcoming vaccine hesitancy and increase appropriate use of vaccines by Vietnamese fish farmers.