Objectives: The effect of social media on COVID-19 vaccination behavior is sub-Saharan Africa is unclear. We conducted a study to determine social media use among a random nationally representative sample of adults in Uganda and assessed the association between recent social media use and COVID-19 vaccination uptake.
Methods: We used data from the 2020 general population survey in Uganda, the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment Survey, to identify a probability sample for a mobile phone survey and included nonphone owners in the phone survey by asking phone owners to pass the phone.
Results: In March 2022, of the 1022 survey participants, 213 (20%) did not own a mobile phone, 842 (80%) owned a mobile phone, of whom 199 (24%) indicated social media use, and 643 (76%) of whom did not use social media. Among all participants, the most frequent source of COVID-19 vaccine information was radio. Overall, 62% reported receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. The multivariable logistic regression model found that social media use was not associated with vaccination status.
Conclusion: Social media users in this population sample from Uganda-who were mainly young, urban residents with higher educational attainment-continue to utilize TV, radio and health care workers for public health messages, thus the Government of Uganda should continue to conduct public health communication through these mediums.