Rapid assessment of Covid-19 vaccine readiness in mining communities in Colombia
Between March and April 2021, Pact conducted a rapid assessment in Colombia as part of a more extensive exercise to determine community awareness of COVID-19 and acceptance and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine. The assessment was conducted in three Colombian towns (San Martin de Loba, El Bagre, and Zaragoza), where Pact implements development programs focusing on rural and vulnerable communities. Residents in these communities engage in the informal mining sector, making them among the most marginalized and vital models for the success of the COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
In March 2021, Colombia received the first batch of vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO) COVAX mechanism.1 As of August 31 2021, less than 30% of the population were fully immunized.2 Furthermore, it is unclear how prepared the health system is to deliver the vaccines to the masses, especially the vulnerable populations. Given the novel nature of COVID-19 and the vaccine, there is a need to explore community perceptions and challenges to improve vaccine access and uptake. Therefore, Pact conducted this qualitative design assessment to assess community preparedness to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to the population. Findings from the assessment will help understand the conditions necessary for optimal COVID-19 vaccine uptake and the challenges to community preparedness and acceptance of the vaccine, particularly among marginalized communities. Additionally, findings will inform deeper analysis, the design of larger studies, and, most importantly, technical support to national efforts addressing these challenges by raising a range of perceptions and contradictions that will be important to address.
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