Analysis of Public Attitudes towards COVID-19 Vaccination in Selected CAREC Countries

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The CAREC Institute in collaboration with Asian Development Bank (ADB), published a report on Analysis of Public “Attitudes towards COVID-19 Vaccination in Selected CAREC Countries” to identify and understand public’s attitudes towards vaccination in seven-member countries of the CAREC Program by using latest survey techniques.

Objective of the project was to help member governments develop better understanding of public attitudes for a better roll-out of vaccination programs for maximum coverage needed for herd immunity and return to normal. Time is critical, as pandemic has already extracted huge cost on economies, human health, social orders, and education. Vulnerable groups have borne the brunt of the pandemic and ensuing consequences.

Findings of this report identify some stark realities and challenges for vaccination programs in the seven countries and suggest policy recommendations that can be useful for addressing those challenges. While the majority of the population surveyed do demonstrate trust in vaccines, there are significant numbers who doubt the efficacy of it. A quarter of respondents found it difficult to assess the efficacy, pointing to a significant information gap.

A certain percentage of respondents is in a state of denial altogether regarding existence of the disease. Among those accepting existence of the disease and are willing to be vaccinated, free vaccination is the preferred option for the majority. One interesting finding is that the main determinant of vaccination decision is protection of the family. Survey also captures the deterioration in financial situation for a significant percentage of population, and mounting fears in case pandemic persists. For information, preferred media is television, followed by social media and personal circles.

In any case the overarching fact revealed is that understanding the science of COVID-19 and Vaccination is somewhat lacking, which requires better “Science Communication” thereby countering miscommunication and misinformation/disinformation.

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