As the nationwide vaccination drive was launched in Bangladesh in February, a high willingness was found among people to be vaccinated, according to a recent study.
However, there were many barriers among the rural and urban slum people to get vaccinated. Nearly one-third of respondents from rural and urban slums reported that they did not know about the Covid-19 vaccine registration process in the first place.
Among those who knew about vaccine registration, many did not get registered since they were unsure about their eligibility for the vaccine.
Researchers from Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) presented the study findings at the webinar "Covid-19 Vaccination: Willingness and Practice in Bangladesh" Thursday.
The study analysed data from three surveys conducted from late January to the end of March 2021 to examine the willingness to be vaccinated in Bangladesh.
BIGD Executive Director Dr Imran Matin said: "Our research has identified the urban slum and youth as 'hotspot' target populations to focus on during vaccine registration communications. As we delve deeper, there will soon be a need for implementation research on mass vaccination."
Diana Mitlin, professor at the University of Manchester, said: "We know that those who live in informal settlements are often badly treated, not getting the services they need, leading to a history of suspicion. The importance of messaging and creating excitement around health services seems to be important – especially in reducing the anxiety and negative concerns around vaccination and can be a scope for improving the relationship of these communities with the government."
Dr Shakila Sultana, deputy program manager of Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) of the Directorate General of Health Services said: "The government decided to slow down registration communication since we are currently facing a vaccine shortage. We will start proper communications once we can manage the supply side constraint."