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The Financial Express

Only 32pc Bangladeshis willing to take Covid jabs immediately

| Updated: January 27, 2021 16:14:27


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Reuters file photo used for representation Reuters file photo used for representation

About 32 per cent of the respondents of a 'rapid survey' were found willing to get Covid-19 jabs as soon as the mass vaccination starts in the country while most others preferred a 'wait and see' policy.

About 27 per cent people wanted to get the shots after several months, 22 per cent after several weeks and 3.0 per cent after one year after the launch of the vaccination programme.

On the other hand, about 54 per cent people expressed their doubt over the efficacy of the vaccine, 34 per cent feared side effects and 12 per cent doubted the quality of the vaccine.

The survey, however, found that most people---84 per cent--- surveyed wanted the vaccine to be free-of-cost is very high. About 52 per cent were willing to pay for the vaccine.

The survey titled 'People's Attitude Towards Vaccination Against COVID-19: Evidence from Bangladesh' was conducted jointly by Health economics Institute of Dhaka University and Bangladesh Como Modeling Team of Oxford University.

The survey was conducted physically by interviewing people at eight districts of eight divisions and two city corporations of Dhaka. A total of 3560 people were directly interviewed following Health Belief Model. There was household-level interview to get the views of the females only. The survey was conducted at public places like bus, launch, railway station, religious installations, market place etc. About 1000 citizens of Dhaka North and South city corporations were interviewed.

HEI professor Syed Hamiduzzaman presented the findings of the survey Tuesday.

The survey results were published at such a time when the government has procured Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Indian Serum Institute and wants to roll out across the country from 08 February.

Bangladesh will start mass vaccination from February 08 with a target to vaccinate 80 per cent of its population---an estimated 130 million.

The result may help the government take policy decisions.

In his presentation, Professor Hamid said that 16 per cent people never wanted to take vaccine despite it being free of cost while 84 per cent of the respondents said they will take the vaccine if the government provides it free of cost. The ratio may vary when vaccination would start fully. But it is almost certain that the rate of vaccination would fall if the government fixed price of vaccines, he added.

About 87 per cent rural and 81 per cent urban people wanted to take the vaccine. Women were more interested - 88 per cent--- to take vaccines while the rate was 81 per cent for men. The rate---82 per cent--- was comparatively low among Muslims 82 per cent compared to members of other religions. Imams and religious leaders ---60 per cent---are less interested in taking the vaccine. Transport workers, 70 per cent, are also less interested.

About 79 per cent people who were infected with coronavirus wanted to take the vaccine, 80 per cent people who had symptoms and 83 per cent people whose family members died of Covid want to take the vaccine. About 60 per cent people knew there was no treatment of covid while 64 per cent knew about the vaccine.

According to the income group, 84 per cent people whose income was less than Tk 20,000 a month wanted the vaccine free of cost. The percentage dropped to 52 per cent if the vaccination involved the payment of money. About 84 per cent people who earned between Tk 20,001 to Tk 50,000 wanted the vaccine free of cost. The rate came down to 81 per cent if vaccine needed money. About 78 per cent people who earned over Tk 50,000 wanted the vaccine free of cost but the rate went up to 92 per cent if vaccine needed money. Mr Hamid said the relevant authorities needed to motivate the people about taking vaccine through the campaign. Besides, he said, eminent and iconic personalities should take vaccine first to encourage the common people.

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