Healthcare students are clinicians-in-training likely to come into contact with COVID-19 as much as other frontline healthcare professionals. It is therefore necessary to prioritize vaccinations for this group. We conducted a global systematic assessment of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates and related factors among healthcare students using the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases and keyword searches in March of 2022. We found 1779 articles with relevant information and 31 articles that matched our inclusion criteria. We performed a random-effects meta-analysis and quality assessment using the eight-item Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal test for cross-sectional studies. A total of 30,272 individuals from 16 countries were studied. Most of the studies were carried out in the U.S. (n = 6), China (n = 5), Poland (n = 5), India (n = 2), Italy (n = 2), and Israel (n = 2). The prevalence of the COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rate was 68.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 60.8-76.3, I(2) = 100%), and the prevalence of the vaccine hesitancy rate was 25.8% (95% CI: 18.5-33.8, I(2) = 99%). In country-specific analyses, Romania showed the highest acceptance rate (88.0%, 95% CI: 44.5-100%), while Iraq showed the lowest acceptance rate (66.2%, 95% CI: 35.5-90.8%). In time-trend analyses, we found that acceptance rates among healthcare students decreased over time. Students concerned about potentially serious side effects of the vaccine were less willing to accept the vaccine. National and international interventions should be adopted to reduce COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy rates among these important frontline workers.
- All age groups