Document Type : Original Article


Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India


BACKGROUND: For any effective vaccination strategy, the willingness of the beneficiaries and its 
contributing factors are important. This study was conducted among the health‑care workers (HCWs) 
and community members to find the perceptions regarding the COVID‑19 vaccine and understand 
the influencers and the barriers of vaccine acceptance.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted from October 2020 to December 
2020 in two primary care settings in an urban area. Eighteen in‑depth interviews (IDIs) after taking 
consent were conducted with the help of IDI guide developed and validated beforehand by the experts. 
IDIs were done among the ten community members and eight HCWs selected conveniently. Data 
collection were continued till data saturation when no new information yielded from the interviews. 
Thematic analysis was performed.
RESULTS: All the participants were hopeful about availability of the vaccine. The key influencers 
identified for promoting willingness to accept the vaccine among both the groups were opinion of the 
health‑care providers, colleagues’ and other people’s acceptance of the vaccine, effectiveness of 
vaccine on other people, and perceived risk of the disease. Fear of adverse reactions was the most 
important barrier among all the respondents. The prevalent perception was that other preventive 
practices and vaccine together can only be the best solution to prevent COVID‑19 illness. The 
HCWs perceived that acceptance of vaccine among the community members would be good overall 
but apprehended some initial difficulties. Mass campaign to promote COVID‑19 vaccination and 
sensitization events are the need of the hour.
CONCLUSIONS: Since opinion of health‑care personnel emerged as an important influencer of 
vaccine acceptance, mass campaign and sensitization programs spearheaded by the health‑care 
providers can bring about change by increasing the vaccine acceptance among the beneficiaries 
at large. Re‑enforcement regarding practice of preventive measures should be made among the 
population irrespective of the vaccination status.


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