CARE Iraq conducted a study to better understand community acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination and existing barriers to vaccine uptake. The objectives of the study were to create an understanding of people’s knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about COVID-19 and the vaccines, establish what reasons undermine the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and inform about the status of vaccine uptake among marginalized communities. The results of the study can inform policy makers and health actors to design awareness campaigns and address barriers to vaccine uptake to increase the vaccination rate.
CARE found that:
• Vaccine hesitancy is high.
• Women have less access to, knowledge of, and willingness to accept the COVID-19 vaccine then men.
• Barriers to access are still high, and higher for women than for men.
• Fear of side effects is the biggest obstacle.
• There is little trust in the vaccination process.
• Many people do not believe vaccines are important.
• People are not confident they have enough accurate information.
• Social media can be a primary channel for vaccine messaging.
• It’s critical to counteract misinformation.
• Multiple sources of information are critical.
• Focus messaging for women and religious leaders.
• Develop different messages in different areas.
• Build on people’s willingness to be convinced with good information.