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The government of Kenya has launched a phased rollout of COVID-19 vaccination. A major barrier is vaccine hesitancy; the refusal or delay of accepting vaccination. This study evaluated the level and determinants of vaccine hesitancy in Kenya. We conducted a cross-sectional study administered through a phone-based survey in February 2021 in four counties of Kenya. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify individual perceived risks and influences, context-specific factors, and vaccine-specific issues associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Kenya was high: 60.1%. Factors associated with vaccine hesitancy included: older age, lower education level, perceived difficulty in adhering to government regulations on COVID-19 prevention, less adherence to wearing of face masks, not having ever been tested for COVID-19, no reported socio-economic loss as a result of COVID public-health restriction measures, and concerns regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness. There is a need for the prioritization of interventions to address vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine confidence as part of the vaccine roll-out plan. These messaging and/or interventions should be holistic to include the value of other public health measures, be focused and targeted to specific groups, raise awareness on the risks of COVID-19 and effectively communicate the benefits and risks of vaccines.

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