People who were confused about vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic were convinced to take it because of the dissemination of accurate information which is very important for any pandemic management including Covid-19, a study has found.
Vaccination has emerged as a champion and the most cost-effective public health strategy to bring the Covid-19 pandemic to an end, said the study titled 'Identifying the Most Cost-Effective Way to Large-Scale Vaccination in Rural Bangladesh,' carried out on 12,303 individuals from 730 communities (rural and urban in Bangladesh).
The study findings were presented by Diwakar Mohan of Johns Hopkins University on Saturday at the vaccination session on the concluding day of the three-day annual development conference organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
The study said that the Covid-19 vaccination had prevented 20 million excess deaths globally. Three components– Information, Accessibility and Ambassador– are the most cost-effective ways to large-scale vaccination in rural Bangladesh.
Joining the session virtually, Diwakar Mohan said that three interventions, including providing unvaccinated people with accurate information (what will happen if not vaccinated and side effects of vaccines), arranging accessibility through registration, arranging transportation to the vaccine centres, and providing messages through local influentital citizens, helped dispel confusion about not receiving the vaccine and convinced the confused people taking a vaccine at a significant rate.
Dr Shafiun Nahin Shimul, associate professor of University of Dhaka and CDC Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow, Georgia State University Atlanta, moderated the vaccination session.
Dr Shafiun Nahin Shimul said there was much confusion regarding vaccines among people. But when people got information through a formal channel as opposed to a common misconception, they took the vaccine significantly. Information is a low-cost intervention. People were given information just through a leaflet, he added.
In the session, another presentation titled `The Role of Information and Incentives on COVID-19 Vaccination in India' was presented by Debayan Pakrashi, Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata and Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.
Debayan Pakrashi said that in India, in addition to information, accessibility and ambassador- gift worth INR 400 and a lottery with a 5% chance of winning a gift worth INR 8,000, worked to encourage people to take a vaccine.
In another presentation titled 'Promoting Vaccination Take-up at the Last Mile: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial in Rural Indonesia', it was found that misconception on the side-effects of vaccines was the highest among Indonesians.